Since 1950, an “Annual Summary of Vital Statistics” article has appeared in every December issue of Pediatrics. For 44 years, the article was written by Myron Wegman, a pediatrician and public health leader, who died earlier this year at the age of 95. Since 1995, the article has been authored by a group of colleagues from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The goal of the article has been to keep pediatricians and public health officials up to date with the changing indicators of reproductive, perinatal, and children’s health in the United States.

The delay in publishing this year’s “Annual Summary” requires an explanation to the many readers who have come to expect it. The specific reason for the delay is late receipt of data from some states. This lack of timeliness is attributed to state...

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