(HealthDay News) — The U.S. birth rate remained at an all-time low in 2013, due largely to a significant drop in teen births, new research shows. The report, first released in January, was published online May 4 in Pediatrics.

More than 3.9 million births occurred in the United States in 2013, down less than 1% from the year before, according to the annual report from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The general fertility rate also declined by about 1% in 2013 to 62.5 births per 1,000 women ages 15–44, reaching another record low for the United States.

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 a historic low in 2013 of 26.5 births per 1,000 teens aged 15–19. Rates fell for teens in nearly all ethnic groups, with an overall 10% dip from 2012.

The twin birth rate reached a new high for the nation of 33.7 per 1,000 total births, up 2% from 2012. The triplet and multiple birth rate dropped another 4% in 2013. The report also noted that the preterm birth rate (before 37 weeks) declined in 2013 to 11.39%, continuing a steady decrease since 2006. The cesarean delivery rate, which had been stable at 32.8% for 2010 through 2012, declined to 32.7% of all U.S. births in 2013. The birth rate for unmarried women fell for the fifth consecutive year, to 44.3 per 1,000 unmarried women ages 15–44 in 2013. The rate was 1% lower in 2013 than the year before.

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