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Birth Facts: US Fertility Rate at a 30-Year Low, Teen Birth Rate Continues Sharp Decline, And More

October 21, 2017
Katie Visco

 

Baby

Women in the United States are having fewer babies than ever before.

However, women in their 30s and early forties are having more babies than in past years. 

The U.S. general fertility rate has declined to a 30-year low point at 62 births for every 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44 in 2016, according to a study done by the Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This number is down 1% from 2015, and it marks a cultural and demographic change across America, one where fewer women are having children due to a multitude of reasons.

Birth rates for women in their 20s declined from 2015 to 2016 by 4% for women aged 20-24 years old. During the same time span, the rate for women aged 25-29 years declined two percent.

Birth rates for women older than 30 rose. Since 2007, the birth rate has risen 19 percent for women in their early forties, two percent for women in their early 30s, and 11 percent for women in their late 30s.

Teen birth rates have also declined 51 percent since 2007.

The preterm birth rate rose for the second consecutive year.

Preterm birth rates declined from 2007 to 2014, according to CDC research. "This decline is due, in part, to declines in the number of births to teens and young mothers," the CDC notes on its website. However, the preterm birth rate is up four percent from 2014 to 2016. It's unclear, and too early to tell, what caused this uptick.  

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