are released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
These show that in 1996:
-- There were 649,485 live births. This compares with 648,138 in
-- The total period fertility rate remained at 1.72 children per
woman. It indicates the average number of children which would
be born per woman if a group of women were to experience the
age-specific fertility rates of the calendar year in question
throughout their childbearing years.
-- 563,007 deaths were registered. This compares with 565,902 deaths
registered in 1995, a decrease of 0.5 per cent.
-- The provisional crude death rate (based on the mid-1995 population
estimates) was 10.9 per thousand population, the same as in 1995.
*The infant mortality remained at 6.1 deaths per thousand live