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November 5, 1955


JAMA. 1955;159(10):1021. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960270041013

Throughout the United States the number of babies born in hospitals has shown a steady increase. Today, there is definite evidence that the number of registered live births in American hospitals has risen appreciably since 1952, when the latest official data became available. At that time about 3,530,000 infants, or 91.7% of all births in the United States, were delivered in hospitals, as the term hospitals is used by the National Office of Vital Statistics. Only 3,170,000, or 81.0%, of all births in the United States occurred in the 6,665 hospitals registered by the American Medical Association in 1952.1 In the white population the proportion of hospital-born babies (in registered as well as nonregistered hospitals) increased from 59.9% to 95.7% during the period between 1940 and 1952, and among the nonwhite population it increased from 26.7% to 66.4%.2

In recent years more and more women have been encouraged

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