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Richland Public Health Shares 2016 Vital Statistics Details

9 Feb , 2017  

Richland Public Health has posted the totals for causes of death in 2016 as well as the statistics for births in the county. The birth and death statistics are compiled monthly by the Vital Statistics office at Richland Public Health, the same office that provides birth and death certificates.

The statistics do not include deaths or births within the City of Shelby that are recorded by the Shelby City Health Department. There may be a few changes in the causes of death as twelve (12) deaths are still pending autopsy reports.


There were 1,154 deaths in the county (excluding Shelby) in 2016, the most deaths in a single year since 2001. There were 96 more deaths to males than to females.

Heart disease and heart attacks remain the number one cause of death in the county with 420 deaths, accounting for 36% of all deaths. That number is down significantly from 2014 where heart disease accounted for 42% of all deaths (466 out of 1,112 deaths). Cancer remains the second leading cause of death with 217 fatalities. That number was the highest number of cancer deaths since 219 in 2010.

Led by 56 drug overdoses (deaths pending autopsy are expected to increase this number), accidental death became the third highest cause of death in the county with 81 current total deaths. Although the county had a record low six traffic fatalities, death by falls was a record high 17. There were also two accidental deaths by other causes. Lung diseases were the fourth leading cause of death (81) followed by strokes (60) and Alzheimer’s/dementia (56). Other leading causes were flu/pneumonia and renal/kidney (both at 33), suicides (16), and homicides (5).

Richland County had 12 infant mortalities (deaths before age 1) in 2016. Because those deaths were recorded outside of the county they are not included in the county death statistics.


There were 1,007 births in the county (excluding Shelby) last year, 146 fewer than last year and the lowest total since tracking began in 1991 (26 years).

There were 85 births to teens (ages 13 to 19). The percentage of teen births, at 8.4 percent, is the lowest percentage of teen births in the last 26 years. The number of births to unwed mothers was 42.8% of all births and down slightly from last year. Unwed teens accounted for 18% of the total unwed in county births.

There were 635 repeat births (second or more births to the same female), 74 fewer than last year.

The complete list of Richland County deaths and births by year and cumulative totals can be found at in the “My Community” drop down menu.

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