"Healthy Women Build Healthy Communities” is the principle that guides the work of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Office of Women’s Health. As an agency in the United States Department of Health and Human Services, HRSA is charged with assuring access to quality health care through a network of community-based health centers, maternal and child health programs, and State, Territorial, and community HIV/AIDS programs. In addition, HRSA’s mission includes supporting individuals pursuing careers in medicine, nursing, and many other health disciplines. HRSA fulfills these responsibilities by collecting and analyzing timely and topical information that identifies health priorities and trends that can be addressed through program interventions and capacity building.

HRSA’s Office of Women’s Health is pleased to present Women’s Health USA 2005, the fourth edition of the data book. To reflect the ever changing, increasingly diverse population and its characteristics, Women’s Health USA 2005 will selectively include emerging issues and trends in women’s health. Information and data on household composition, maternity leave, contraception, and adolescent pregnancy are a few of the new topics included in this edition.
Where possible, every effort has been made to highlight racial and ethnic disparities as well as sex/gender differences.

The data book was developed by HRSA to provide readers with an easy-to-use collection of current and historical data on some of the most pressing health challenges facing women, their families, and their communities. Women’s Health USA 2005 is intended to be a concise reference for policymakers and program managers at the Federal, State, and local levels to identify and clarify issues affecting the health of women.

In these pages, readers will find a profile of women’s health at the national level from a variety of data sources. The data book uses the latest available information from various agencies within the Federal Government, including the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Labor, Commerce, and Justice. Non-Federal data sources were used when no Federal source was available. Every attempt has been made to use data collected in the past 5 years.

It is important to note that the incidence and mortality data included are generally not age-adjusted to the 2000 population standard of the United States. This affects the comparability of data from year to year, and the interpretation of differences across various groups, especially those of different races and ethnicities. Without age adjustment, it is difficult to know how much of the difference in morbidity and mortality rates between groups can be attributed to different age distributions. Presentation of racial and ethnic data may appear different on some pages as a result of the design and limitations of the original data source.

In an effort to produce a timely document, some of the topics covered in Women's Health USA were not included in this year’s edition because new data were not available. Please refer to Women’s Health USA 2004 for coverage of these issues.

Please provide feedback on this publication to the HRSA Information Center at 1-888-ASK-HRSA or