Circumcision Rates Vary Widely in U.S.

State Rates Vary From 12% to 87%, Hospital Data Shows

haaretz

By Paul Berger

Published August 28, 2012, issue of August 31, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

A Forward analysis of government data shows that 87% of the baby boys born in West Virginia were circumcised in 2009. Two thousand miles west, in Nevada, the procedure was performed on only 12% of baby boys.

It’s a strange disparity in a country where most parents still circumcise their sons. It also stands in stark contrast to Europe, where circumcision is increasingly described as a barbaric act that should be banned.

In the United States, far from debating whether circumcision should be allowed, a spate of new studies and recommendations is actually pointing to the health benefits — and even cost-effectiveness — of circumcision, and warning against falling American circumcision rates.


Hospital Circumcision Rates by Region.
Click to enlarge.

In the United States, those rates have declined today to about 55%, from a high of almost 80% during the 1970s and ’80s. In Europe, only 10% of boys are circumcised.

A top children’s health group has released a new report recommending circumcision. Read post on Forward Thinking blog.

Most Jews and Muslims are circumcised. But for other boys, race, household income, insurance coverage and ZIP code are good predictors of whether the procedure will be performed.

Just as influential may be the state in which a baby is born.

While 75% of boys born in the Midwest in 2009 had a circumcision, only 25% of boys born in the West that same year were circumcised, according to The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which is part of the Department of Health.

At state level, the differences are even more dramatic. About 86% of boys born in Michigan had a hospital circumcision in 2009, compared with just 15% of boys born in Washington.

State health officials seem unable to explain why their circumcision rates are so different.

Several representatives for state health departments and hospital associations declined to comment.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • "I feel great sorrow about the fact that you decided to return the honor and recognition that you so greatly deserve." Rivka Ben-Pazi, who got Dutchman Henk Zanoli recognized as a "Righteous Gentile," has written him an open letter.
  • Is there a right way to criticize Israel?
  • From The Daily Show to Lizzy Caplan, here's your Who's Jew guide to the 2014 #Emmys. Who are you rooting for?
  • “People at archives like Yad Vashem used to consider genealogists old ladies in tennis shoes. But they have been impressed with our work on indexing documents. Now they are lining up to work with us." This year's Jewish Genealogical Societies conference took place in Utah. We got a behind-the-scenes look:
  • What would Maimonides say about Warby Parker's buy-one, give-one charity model?
  • For 22 years, Seeds of Peace has fostered dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian teens in an idyllic camp. But with Israel at war in Gaza, this summer was different. http://jd.fo/p57AB
  • J.J. Goldberg doesn't usually respond to his critics. But this time, he just had to make an exception.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.