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The birth rate among US teens fell to a record low in 2010

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Births to women 15 to 19 years old reached the lowest rate ever recorded


 

The birth rate among US teens 15 to 19 years old was 34.3 births for every 1,000 teenagers in 2010—a 9% decline from 2009 and the lowest rate ever recorded in nearly seven decades of collecting data, according to a report released November 17, 2011, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report, Births: Preliminary Data for 2010, from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, is based on an analysis of nearly 100% of birth records collected in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US territories.

The birth rate for teenagers 15 to 19 years old has declined for the past 3 years and 17 of the past 19 years. Birth rates for younger and older teenagers and for all race and ethnic groups reached historic lows in 2010.

Other findings:

  • The rate of cesarean delivery declined for the first time since 1996. In 2010, it was 32.8%, down from 32.9% in 2009
  • Total births declined 3%, from 4,130,665 in 2009 to 4,000,279 in 2010
  • The overall fertility rate fell 3%, from 66.2 births for every 1,000 females 15 to 44 years old in 2009 to 64.1 in 2010. This is the third straight decline for overall fertility in the United States.
  • The total number of births to unmarried mothers declined for the second year in a row, to 1,633,785, down from 1,693,685 in 2009. Similarly, the birth rate for unmarried mothers declined to 47.7 for every 1,000 women in 2010, compared with 49.9 in 2009. The percentage of births to unmarried mothers also declined slightly in 2010, to 40.8%, compared with 41% in 2009.
  • The birth rate for women in their early 20s fell 6% in 2010. The rates also fell for women in their late 20s and 30s. However, the birth rate for women in their early 40s increased to 10.2 per 1,000 women in 2010, compared with 10.0 in 2009, making it the highest birth rate for this age group since 1967
  • The preterm birth rate declined for the fourth straight year in 2010, to just under 12% of all births (11.99%)—a 6% drop from 2006
  • The rate of low birth-weight infants remained essentially unchanged between 2009 and 2010 at less than 8.2%, but is down slightly from the record high of 8.3 in 2006.

The full report is available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr60/nvsr60_02.pdf.

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