North Carolina

Please be sure to read the data notes & limitations page. This explains many aspects of these comments, including how only changes over time can be discussed as statistically significant, and why the comparisons with national rates discuss data for selected subgroups.

Overview of Findings

Data indicating changes for North Carolina were limited to a few objectives and findings were mixed. Encouraging findings include decreases in overall mortality for younger and older adolescents and suicide mortality for older adolescents. However, motor vehicle mortality and homicide mortality rates were flat and overall mortality among young adults increased. Because baseline data were not available for most objectives, change in most areas could not be evaluated.

Comparisons with national rates were also mixed. Rates of safety belt use, riding with a driver who consumed alcohol, physical fighting and weapon compared favorably with national rates. Rates of homicide, suicide, sexual experience, current sexual activity and condom use in North Carolina were similar to national rates for those objectives. North Carolina rates for overall mortality and motor vehicle mortality were higher than national rates for those objectives.

Highlights of Findings by Objective

Jump To: Mortality; Unintentional Injury; Violence; Substance Use and Mental Health; Reproductive Health

Mortality

The rate of overall mortality in North Carolina decreased among younger and older adolescents, but increased among young adults. Rates decreased among Black young adults. In 2007, adolescent males had twice the mortality rate as females; among young adults this gender difference was three-fold. Blacks had the highest mortality rates, followed by Whites. Many racial/ethnic differences were fairly small. Among younger adolescents Blacks had a slightly higher rate than Whites. Among older adolescents, Hispanics and Blacks had virtually matching rates, and Whites had the lowest rate; among young adults the rate for Hispanics was slightly higher than the rate for Black and Whites also had the lowest rate.

Comparison with national data. As in North Carolina, national mortality rates decreased for younger and older adolescents, and increased among young adults. Also similar to North Carolina, the rate among Black young adults decreased. In 2007, the overall mortality rate in North Carolina was higher than the national rate across all three age groups; this gap was particularly large between Hispanics in North Carolina and national rates for Hispanics. As in North Carolina, males had higher rates than females nationally and Blacks had higher rates than Whites among younger adolescents. Other national patterns differed those noted for North Carolina. Among older adolescents, Whites and Hispanics had virtually matching rates nationally, and Blacks had the highest rates. Among young adults, Blacks had a higher rate than Hispanics nationally, the reverse of the pattern in North Carolina.

Unintentional Injury

(motor vehicle crashes, safety belt use, & riding with a driver who has been drinking alcohol)

Please note the data for safety belt use are presented as “not wearing safety belt,” the inverse of the objective. This text describes safety belt use.

Adolescent mortality in North Carolina due to motor vehicle crashes was flat from baseline overall, with no large changes among subgroups. In 2007, males had more than twice the rate of females. Hispanics had by far the highest rate, followed by Whites and then Blacks.

Comparison with national data. National adolescent motor vehicle mortality overall was also flat from baseline. In 2007, the overall rate for North Carolina was somewhat higher than the national rate; the North Carolina rate for Hispanics was more than twice the national rate for that group. As in North Carolina, males had a much higher rate than females and Blacks had the lowest rate. However, Whites had highest rates nationally, followed very closely by Hispanics, in contrast to North Carolina where Hispanics had a much higher rate.

Rates of safety belt use in North Carolina in 2009 were slightly higher among females than males overall. Adolescents of multiple races, Hispanics, Asians and Whites all had roughly matching rates. Blacks had a slightly lower rate of safety belt use than these four groups.

Comparison with national data. The rate of safety belt use in North Carolina was slightly higher than the national rate in 2009. As in North Dakota, females had a higher rate than males nationally. Similar to North Dakota, differences between racial/ethnic subgroups were very small. Nationally, Asians had the highest rate, followed very closely by Hispanics, Whites, adolescents of multiple races and Blacks.

Rates of adolescents in North Carolina in 2009 who report riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol were similar among males and females. Hispanics were most likely to report this behavior, followed by adolescents of multiple races, followed by Whites and Blacks, who had roughly matching rates. Asians had the lowest rate of this behavior.

Comparison with national data. The overall rate of riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol was lower for North Carolina than the national rate. The national gender and racial/ethnic patterns roughly matched the patterns noted for North Carolina.

Violence

(homicide, physical fighting, weapon carrying)

Homicide rates among older adolescents were flat from baseline; rates increased moderately among older adolescent Black males.

Comparison with national data. The national homicide rate among older adolescent Blacks was also flat from baseline. Also similar to North Carolina, the homicide rate increased among older adolescent Black males. In 2007, the overall rate for older adolescents in North Carolina roughly matched the national rate for this group; by contrast, the rate for Black male older adolescents in North Carolina was much lower than the national rate for that group.

The rate of physical fighting among male adolescents in North Carolina was nearly double the rate among females. Adolescents of multiple races had the highest rates, followed by Hispanics and Blacks, who had similar rates; Whites had the next highest rate and Asians had the lowest rate.

Comparison with national data. In 2009, the rate of physical fighting in North Carolina was lower than the national rate; the rate for Blacks in North Carolina was much lower than the national rate for that group. As in North Carolina, the national rate for males was much higher than the rate for females. The national racial/ethnic pattern roughly matched the pattern for North Carolina, except that the rate for adolescents of multiple races roughly matched the rate for Whites and Hispanics.

The overall rate of weapon carrying among adolescents in North Carolina was four times as high among males as females. Adolescents of multiple races had the highest rate, followed closely by Whites and Hispanics, who had similar rates; Blacks had the next highest rate and Asians had the lowest rate.

Comparison with national data. The overall rate of weapon carrying in North Carolina in 2009, was slightly lower than the national rate. As in North Carolina, the national rate for males was about four times the rate for females. The national racial/ethnic pattern roughly matched the pattern for North Carolina. While Blacks in North Carolina had the highest rates and Hispanics the lowest, the reverse was the case nationally: Hispanics had the highest rates, and Blacks had the lowest.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health

(binge drinking, marijuana use, suicide)

Rates of binge drinking in North Carolina were higher among males than among females. Rates were highest among adolescents of multiple races, followed by Whites, Hispanics, Blacks, and then Asians.

Comparison with national data. Nationally, males and females had roughly matching rates, in contrast to a larger rate among males in North Carolina. Nationally, adolescents of multiple races had a lower rate than Whites and Hispanics, in contrast to having the highest rate in North Carolina. Also, Blacks had the lowest rate nationally, with Asians having the next highest rate, the reverse of the pattern noted for North Carolina.

Rates of marijuana use in North Carolina were higher among males than females in 2009. Racial/ethnic differences were fairly small. Blacks had the highest rate, followed closely by Whites, adolescents of multiple races, and Hispanics; these three groups had similar rates. Asians had the lowest rate.

Comparison with national data. Nationally, males had a slightly higher rate than females, similar to North Carolina. Also as in North Carolina, Asians had the lowest rate and there were small differences among the other four racial/ethnic groups.

The rate of suicide in North Carolina among older adolescents decreased slightly from baseline.

Comparison with national data. The national suicide rate for older adolescents also decreased slightly from baseline. The 2007 North Carolina rate for that group roughly matched the national rate.

Reproductive Health

(sexual inexperience, no current sexual activity, condom use)

Please note, for the first two objectives, the text and tables present findings about adolescents who are sexually experienced and currently sexually active, the inverse of the actual objective. For the third objective, the table presents findings for lack of condom use, the inverse of the objective. The text describes condom use. (See Data Notes & Limitations).

In North Carolina, males reported higher rates of having engaged in sexual intercourse than females in 2009. Rates of sexual experience were highest among Blacks, followed by Hispanics, adolescents of multiple races, and then Whites. Asians had by far the lowest rate.

Comparison with national data. The overall rate of sexual experience among adolescents in North Carolina was slightly higher than the national rate in 2009. Nationally, males and females had roughly matching rates, in contrast to a larger rate among males in North Carolina. The national racial/ethnic patterns matched the patterns noted for North Carolina.

The rate of sexually experienced adolescents in North Carolina in 2009 reporting current sexual activity was very similar among females than males overall. Blacks had the highest rates of current sexual activity, followed by adolescents of multiple races, Hispanics, and then Whites. Asians had by far the lowest rate.

Comparison with national data. The overall rate of currently sexually active adolescents in North Carolina was slightly higher than the national rate in 2009. Females had slightly higher rates than males nationally, in contrast to roughly matching rates in North Carolina. As in North Carolina, Asians had by far the lowest rate and Blacks had the highest rate nationally. However, nationally, Blacks were followed by Hispanics, adolescents of multiple races and Whites, with these three groups having similar rates. This stands in contrast to North Carolina, where adolescents of multiple races had a higher rate relative to Hispanics and Whites.

Rates of adolescent condom use in North Carolina in 2009 were higher among males than among females. Condom use was highest among Whites, followed by Hispanics, then Blacks, although differences among these groups were very small.

Comparison with national data. The overall rate of condom use in North Carolina in 2009 roughly matched the national rate. As in North Carolina, the national rate for males was higher than the rate for females. Also similar to North Carolina, Whites and Blacks had similar rates; however Hispanics had a somewhat lower rate than these two groups, unlike the similar rates noted in North Carolina.

Additional data may be available at: http://www.schs.state.nc.us/SCHS/data/index.html