All About Richland

Released County Vital Statistics Data Reveal Interesting Trends

28 Feb , 2019  

Richland Public Health recently posted the totals for causes of death in 2018 as well as the statistics for births in the county. When compared against statistics from recent years, the picture which is created is one with both troubling and positive trends.

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 also include deaths or births within the City of Shelby.

There may be slight revisions in the causes of death report as two December deaths are still pending autopsy conclusions.

 These statistics reveal the following:


  • There were 1,262 deaths in the county (including Shelby) in 2017, the most deaths in a single year since records started in 2001. There were 36 more deaths to males than to females.
  • Heart disease and heart attacks remain the number one cause of death in the county, with 450 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 that year).
  • Cancer remains the second leading cause of death with 251 fatalities (20%). That number was down by 20 cancer deaths from last year.
  • Lung diseases were the third leading cause of death (103) followed by Alzheimer’s/dementia (94) which had its highest total of cause of death in the last 18 years.
  • Accidental death was the fifth highest cause of death in the county with 63 total deaths. Drug overdoses were the cause of 45 of these deaths (down one from last year). There were six deaths each from traffic crashes, falls, and other causes.
  • Other leading causes were strokes (47), flu/pneumonia (38), and renal/kidney failure (35).
  • There were 22 suicides, a record number for Richland County, topping 21 in 2003 and 2015. There were three (3) homicides.
  • Richland County had eight (8) infant mortalities (deaths before age 1) in 2018.


  • There were 1,143 births in the county (including Shelby) last year. That’s 28 fewer than last year.
  • There were 100 teenaged births (ages 13 to 19). The percentage of teen births, at 8.7 percent, is slightly lower than last year and the second lowest percentage of teen births in the last 28 years.
  • The number of births to unwed mothers was 49% of all births. Unwed teens accounted for just under 17% of the total unwed in county births, the lowest percentage in 28 years. Births to unmarried mothers does not take into account births to couples within cohabitation unions.
  • There were 729 repeat births (second or more births to the same female), including 17 teens.

The complete list of Richland County deaths and births by year and cumulative totals can be found at

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