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2002 News from Mecklenburg County

May 14, 2002


Charlotte, NC – Responding to a growing segment of an ever-diversifying population, the Mecklenburg County Health Department is now tracking health and mortality statistics that affect the county’s Hispanic residents. 

The Health Department is tracking births and deaths, adolescent pregnancy rates, tuberculosis cases, leading causes of death and emergency room visits made by Hispanics here in Mecklenburg County.  These statistics can be accessed directly on the Health Department’s Web site at

Tracking these statistics separately is another tool the Health Department can use to more readily assess the healthcare needs of Mecklenburg County’s Hispanic community.  The Health Department also continues to produce more and more of its literature and communications in English and Spanish and is working toward hiring and retaining more bilingual staff members.  

Among the information the Health Department is compiling from these statistics: 

·         The Hispanic population is younger than the average in Mecklenburg County.  The median age for Hispanics in Mecklenburg County is 25.4.  The median age for the county’s general population is 33.1.

·         The percentage of teens giving birth is higher among Hispanics (14%) than it is for the general population (9%).

·         Unintentional injury was the leading cause of death among Hispanics in 2000; the majority of those injuries were motor vehicle-related. 

“The Hispanic population in Mecklenburg County has blossomed in the past decade.  It’s now nearly seven times what it was in 1990,” says Kate Vassallo, epidemiology specialist with the Mecklenburg County Health Department.  

The Health Department estimates that approximately one-fourth of its clients are of Hispanic origin.  It is one of the Health Director’s goals that the Department serve and advocate for the health needs of the Mecklenburg County immigrant population by becoming more culturally competent.

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