U.S. Birth Rate Hits All-Time Low, While Age of First Motherhood Shifts

U.S. Birth Rate Hits All-Time Low
U.S. Birth Rate Hits All-Time Low

(HealthDay News) — The U.S. birth rate remained at an all-time low in 2013, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday.

According to the annual report from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, 3.93 million births occurred in the United States in 2013, <1% from the year before. The general fertility rate also declined by 1% in 2013 to 62.5 births per 1,000 women ages 15–44, reaching another record low for the United States.

Another sign that the post-recession economy is affecting family planning – the average age of first motherhood continued to increase, rising to age 26 in 2013, compared with 25.8 the year before. Birth rates for women in their 20s declined to record lows in 2013, but rose for women in their 30s and late 40s. The rate for women in their early 40s was unchanged.

The teenage birth rate also reached an historic low in 2013 of 26.5 births per 1,000 teens ages 15–19. Rates fell for teens in nearly all ethnic groups, with an overall 10% dip from 2012. "They may be looking at the economy as a factor, but there also are a lot of policies and programs out there targeted at lessening teen births," report coauthor Brady Hamilton, a statistician/demographer with the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, told HealthDay.

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