Number of US Births Dropped to 30-Year Low in 2017 — CDC

US Fertility Rates Hit Record Lows... Again

THURSDAY, May 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) - The number of U.S. births decreased in 2017, reaching a 30-year low, according to a report published online May 17 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

Similar declines were seen by race and ethnicity, with the provisional number of births down 2% for Hispanic and 3% for non-Hispanic white women in 2017, though the authors said that the number of births for non-Hispanic black women was "essentially unchanged". The 2017 rate of low birthweight was 8.27 percent, which was one of the highest levels reported since 2006.

"Education and access to contraception are big factors in decreasing teen pregnancies", Wu noted. Data for 2017 were compared with 2016 data and earlier years. Notably, the provisional birth rate for teenagers fell 7% to another record low (18.8 births per 1,000 women), continuing recent trends.

However, the birth rate actually went up a bit for women aged 40 to 44, the report found.

Data based on more than 99 percent of US birth certificates counted 3.853 million births previous year, about 92,000 fewer than 2016.

While the number of births nudged up in 2014, it's fallen for three consecutive years.

There was also a slight rise in C-section deliveries.

Researchers also found the rate of low birth weight hit 8.3 percent past year - one of the highest levels in more than a decade.

This study was led by researchers at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

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