All About Richland

Richland County 2017 Vital Statistics Released

23 Feb , 2018  

Richland Public Health has posted the totals for causes of death in 2017 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 also include deaths or births within the City of Shelby. There may be revisions in the causes of death report as six deaths are still pending autopsy reports.


  • There were 1,258 deaths in the county (including Shelby) in 2017, the most deaths in a single year since 2001.  There were only 26 more deaths to males than to females.
  • Heart disease and heart attacks remain the number one cause of death in the county, with 443 deaths accounting for nearly 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 271 fatalities (21.5%). That number was the highest number of cancer deaths since 2004 (256 deaths that year).
  • Lung diseases were the third leading cause of death (95) followed by Alzheimer’s/dementia (89) which had its highest total for cause of death since 2009 (77 deaths that year).
  • Accidental death was the fifth highest cause of death in the county with 64 total deaths. Drug overdoses were the cause of 46 of these deaths. Death by falls was down to eight after last year’s record 17 deaths.
  • Other leading causes were renal/kidney failure (51), strokes (37), and flu/pneumonia (36).
  • There were 15 suicides and six (6) homicides.
  • Richland County had six (6) infant mortalities (deaths before age 1) in 2017.


  • There were 1,171 births in the county (including Shelby) last year. Excluding Shelby numbers, that’s 26 fewer than last year and the lowest total since tracking began in 1991 (27 years).
  • There were 108 teenaged births (ages 13 to 19). The percentage of teen births, at 9.2 percent, is slightly higher than last year but the second lowest percentage of teen births in the last 27 years.
  • The number of births to unwed mothers was 49% of all births. Unwed teens accounted for 18% of the total unwed in county births. Births to unmarried mothers doesn’t figure in births to couples within cohabitation unions.
  • There were 745 repeat births (second or more births to the same female), including 12 teens.

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

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