Boro logged decade’s lowest number of deaths in 2000

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The New York City Health Department says Queens experienced the fewest deaths in more than a decade in the year 2000 along with infant mortality rates that ranged from both the city’s lowest to nearly its highest.

The New York City Health Department’s annual Vital Statistics summary is composed to a great extent of exhaustive numerical tables that tell a fascinating story of life and death and its causes in the five boroughs.

The statistics for the millennium year reported the fewest deaths at 60,839 ever recorded in New York City.

The Queens death total of 14,574, was a category that with some slight fluctuations had been decreasing for more than a decade.

The areas of Maspeth and Forest Hills had 2.7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births — the lowest in the city— while an area the Health Department calls Jamaica East had 10 infant deaths per 1,000 births, which was third worst such record in the five boroughs. Only Fort Greene (10.6) and Central Harlem (10.3) recorded higher infant mortality rates.

Citywide the infant mortality rate of 6.7 per 1,000 births was the lowest since the city began keeping records. The infant morality rate includes babies who died before their first birthday.

The Health Department said heart disease was the biggest killer of New Yorkers, claiming 24,768 lives, or 41 percent of the death total citywide, including 13,603 women and 11,165 men.

Cancer was the next biggest cause of death, claiming 7,259 lives, then influenza and pneumonia, HIV disease and cerebrovascular disease.

By ancestry, the highest number of Queens deaths in 2000 involved those of American descent with 3,232 followed by African Americans 2,376, Italians 1,729, Irish 909, Germans 747, Polish 469, Puerto Rican 423. Chinese 404 and Jewish 384 with other nationalities in fewer numbers.

The summary also showed:

The most popular names for baby boys in 2000 were: Michael, John, Christopher, Matthew, Daniel, Anthony, Joshua, David, Joseph and Kevin. For girls: Ashley, Samantha, Kayla, Emily, Brianna, Sarah, Jessica, Nicole, Michelle and Amanda.

Queens recorded 19,485 abortions, third after Brooklyn with 31,313 and the Bronx with 21,757

The 10,800 births to teenagers in New York City included 2,050 in Queens, fewer than in Brooklyn or the Bronx.

Citywide, there were 211 deaths from Alzheimer’s disease, up 60 percent over 1999.

The most deaths at 6,556 occurred in January with the least at 4,570 in September. The most births, 10,842, took place in August.

The highest marriage total, 6,457, were in August.

Although the summary involved the year 2000, the Health Department included a special report on the World Trade Center attack, giving borough by borough death toll numbers.

The report said 242 Queens residents were killed Sept. 11 along with 330 from Manhattan, 283 from Brooklyn, 183 from Staten Island and 89 from the Bronx. The dead included 247 Hispanic people, 1,987 non-Hispanic white people, 207 non-Hispanic black people, 165 Asian and Pacific Islanders, two of other races or ethnic groups and nine whose category was unknown.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 136.

Updated 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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