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CDC: Birth Rates in 2009 at Record Lows

Rates down in teens and women in their 20s and 30s but up among women in their 40s

TUESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The birth rate among women in their twenties and thirties, preterm birth rate, percentage of births to teenagers, general fertility rate, and total number of births declined in 2009, with the birth rate among women in their forties and the cesarean delivery rate increasing, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

The report revealed that the birth rate for 15- to 19-year-olds declined for the last two years, decreasing to 39.1 births per 1,000 teenagers in 2009, representing a 6 percent decline from 2008. The general fertility rate declined from 68.6 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 years in 2008 to 66.7 births in 2009. The total number of births also decreased from 4,247,694 in 2008 to 4,131,019 in 2009.

While the birth rate for women in their early twenties declined 7 percent in 2009 and the rate also declined for women in their late twenties and thirties, the birth rate for women in their early forties increased in 2009. The preterm birth rate declined to slightly under 12.2 percent of all births in 2009. The birth rate for unmarried women decreased nearly 4 percent from 2008 to 2009, to 50.6 per 1,000. However, the cesarean delivery rate increased from 32.3 percent in 2008 to 32.9 percent in 2009. The low birth weight rate remained relatively stable between 2008 and 2009 at just under 8.2 percent in 2009.

According the CDC, "birth rates for younger and older teenagers and for all race/ethnic groups reached historic lows in 2009."

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