HealthDay News — Teen births in the United States dropped to a record low last year, falling 9% from 2015, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

CDC researchers used birth records for nearly 100% of the births in the United States in 2016. The teen birth rate was 20.3 births per 1,000 female teens in 2016, compared to 41.5 births per 1,000 in 2007, according to the report. The overall birth rate declined, too, dropping 1% between 2015 and 2016. The total number of births in 2016 was 3,941,109. 

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The fertility rate declined to 62 births per 1,000 among women of childbearing age – a record low for the nation, the investigators found. Preterm births, however, increased for the second year, increasing 2 percent from 2015 to 2016.

In other news from the report, the birth rate climbed among women in their 30s and 40s, with births among 30- to 34-year-olds up 1%, to 102.6 births per 1,000 women, reaching their highest level since 1964. Births among unmarried women ages 15 to 44 dropped 3% in 2016, down to 42.1 births per 1,000 unmarried women. More than three-quarters (77.2%) of pregnant women started essential prenatal care in the first trimester. But 6.2% waited until the third trimester to get prenatal care or had no prenatal care. For the fourth year in a row, the number of cesarean deliveries declined slightly, falling to 31.9% of births. The rate of low-risk cesarean deliveries also dropped slightly.

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