U.S. residents were less likely to be born or to die during the 12-month period that ended in October 2009 than they were during the previous 12-month period.

The National Center for Health Statistics has published that finding in provisional 2009 U.S. vital statistics.

The total number of live births fell to 4.15 million during the 12-month period that ended in October 2009, from 4.28 million during the comparable period in 2008.

The birth rate per 1,000 people fell to 13.5, from 14.1.

The total number of deaths fell to 2.42 million, from 2.45 million, and the death rate fell to 7.9 per 1,000 lives, from 8.1.

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