Overall Birth Rate Down, But Twin Deliveries Up

The birth rate declined in the United States for the sixth straight year in 2013, with the general fertility rate at an all-time low. This information was issued in a data brief by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The report states that there were 3.93 million births in 2013, down less than 1% from 2012 and 9% from the 2007 high. Birth rates for women under <30 years of age were recorded at record lows, falling 10% to 26.5 per 1,000 among teenagers, 3% for women ages 20–24, and 1% to 105.5 for women ages 25–29. However, rates increased for most age groups ≥30 years; in women ages 30–34, 35–39, and 45–49, the birth rates increased by 1%, 2%, and 0.7%, respectively. No change was seen in women ages 40–44, with the rate remaining steady at 10.4 births per 1,000.

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Cesarean delivery rates dropped slightly to 32.7% of live births, down from 32.8% in 2010–2012 and its peak at 32.9% in 2009. Preterm birth rates also experienced a decline of 1% to 11.55% in 2012; this also represents a decline of 11% compared to the peak rate of 12.80% in 2006. Notably, there were 132,324 births in twin deliveries, a number which has more than doubled from 1980–2009. The number also increased from 68,339 births in twin deliveries to over 137,000 births from 2006–2009. The twin birth rate increased 2% in 2013 to 33.7 per 1,000 after remaining unchanged from 2009–2012. In comparison, this birth rate was 18.9 per 1,000 in 1980.

For more information, visit CDC.gov.