Number of the Day: 38.7%

January 28, 2011 | Number of The Day

New Jersey women give birth by Cesarean section 38.7 percent of the time, or at least that’s what happened in 2008, according to, a data website maintained by the Kaiser Family Foundation. That’s a significant jump beyond the national norm of 32.3 percent, and it makes New Jersey first in the country for Cesareans. Louisiana (38 percent), Florida (37.6 percent), and Mississippi (37.1 percent) were the other state’s with high rates.

Cesareans are controversial among some groups, who believe that many doctors and patients prefer the procedure because it’s more convenient. Still, the Cesareans come with their own set of potential problems, since they are major surgery.

When New Jersey’s high rate of Cesareans is broken down by race and ethnicity, it appears that white and black residents have the procedure at about the same rate (39.2 percent vs. 39.6 percent) Hispanic women have Cesareans 36.8 percent of the time.