Number of Births, Fertility Rate Increased in 2021

Increases of 1 percent seen from 2020 in provisional number of births, general fertility rate; marks first increase since 2014

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TUESDAY, May 24, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- In 2021, there was an increase in the number of births and in the general fertility rate in the United States, marking the first increase since 2014, according to a May Vital Statistics Rapid Release report, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Brady E. Hamilton, Ph.D., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues presented provisional 2021 data on U.S. births based on 99.94 percent of all 2021 birth records received and processed by the National Center for Health Statistics.

The authors note that the provisional number of births for 2021 in the United States was 3,659,289, which marked a 1 percent increase from 2020 and the first increase in the number of births since 2014. For women aged 15 to 44 years, the general fertility rate was 56.6 births per 1,000 women, up 1 percent since 2020 and the first increase since 2014. In 2021, the total fertility rate was 1,663.5 per 1,000 women, which was up 1 percent from 2020. A decrease was seen in birth rates for women aged 15 to 24 years, while increases were seen for women aged 25 to 49 years and no change was seen for adolescents aged 10 to 14 years. For teenagers aged 15 to 19 years, the birth rate declined 6 percent to 14.4 births per 1,000 females in 2021, with rates declining for older and younger teenagers. The rate of cesarean delivery increased to 32.1 percent in 2021, with an increase in low-risk cesarean delivery to 26.3 percent.

A 4 percent increase was seen in the preterm birth rate to 10.48 percent in 2021, which marked the highest rate since 2007. From 2020 to 2021, increases of 4 percent were seen in both early (<34 weeks of gestation) and late (34 to 36 weeks of gestation) preterm births.

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