Newsroom > DHHS News Release

March 19, 2014

Leah Bucco-White, Communications and Legislative Services, 402-471-9356,
Latest Vital Statistics Report:
Marriage Age Increasing
Low Number of Infant Deaths Sets Record
Fourth Leading Cause of Death Changes

Lincoln – Did you know? Approximately 60,000 records of vital events are filed every year in Nebraska.  The 2012 Nebraska Vital Statistics report contains information on births, deaths, marriages and divorces. Here’s a quick snapshot of the report by the numbers.


  • 25,939 live births occurred among Nebraska women in 2012 compared to 25,722 in 2011.
  • First born children accounted for almost 37 percent of all births. Second born children accounted for just over 31 percent.
  • The average age of a Nebraska woman giving birth to her first child increased over the past decade – 24.5 years in 2000 to 25.4 years in 2012.


  • A total of 120 infant deaths occurred in Nebraska in 2012 which translates to an infant mortality rate of 4.6 per 1,000 live births. This is the lowest infant mortality rate ever recorded in the state’s history, breaking the previous mark of 5.2 from 2010.
  • The average age at death for Nebraskans in 2012 was 75.5 years old, the same as in 2011. 
  • 75.5 years old ties the state’s all-time record which was first set in 2003.
  • Average age at death breakdown by gender:
    • Nebraska women - 78.7 years.
    • Nebraska men - 72.2 years.
  • Cancer is Nebraska’s leading cause of death. Heart disease is second. Chronic lung disease is the third.
  • The fourth leading cause of death changed in 2012 from cerebrovascular disease (stroke) to accidents (unintentional injuries). Accidents claimed 789 lives in 2012 up from 675 in 2011. Motor vehicle accidents and falls were the leading causes of accidental deaths in 2012.

Marriage and Divorce:

  • The number of marriages in Nebraska has been on the decline since 1970.
  • Age at marriage continues to increase. Over half of the 12,376 Nebraska marriages in 2012 involved either a bride or groom at least 30 years old.
  • The number of divorces in Nebraska declined. There were 6,307 in 2012 versus 6,367 in 2011. Overall, the divorce rate has been on a slow decline since the 1990s.
  • More divorces were granted to people in their 30s.
  • Just over half of Nebraska divorces in 2012 ended a marriage that lasted eight years or less and just over half of all divorces involved couples with children.

To see more information in the report, go to