Presentations of births and pregnancy data are based on the race of the mother. A new Certificate of Live Births was introduced in Tennessee on January 1, 2004. One of the major changes in 2004 was to allow a parent to specify more than one choice in response to the question asking for his or her race. The format for the race question includes 15 checkbox items and three write-in lines, plus the instruction to "Mark one or more races to indicate what this person considers himself/herself to be." To enable comparison between birth data for 2004 and and the years following with prior years when only one race could be reported, the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a computer modeling program to all states to use to assign multiple race responses to a single race based on a statistical algorithm. The original parental choices are maintained on our data files as well as the assigned race. The assigned race is for statistical tabulation purposes only and has no other use.
The revised U.S. Standard Birth Certificate, with the revised race and Hispanic origin formats, may be found by going to the following web site, where the data collection, transmission, edit, and file layout specifications are also posted: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/vital_certs_rev.htm .