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CDC: U.S. Birth Rate Essentially Unchanged in 2012

Decrease in birth rates for teens, women in their 20s; increases for those in their 30s, early 40s

CDC: U.S. Birth Rate Essentially Unchanged in 2012

MONDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In 2012, the U.S. birth rate was essentially unchanged, but decreases were noted in the rates for teenagers and women in their early 20s, according to a report published Sept. 6 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Brady E. Hamilton, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from 99.96 percent of 2012 births in the United States to report trends on births and birth rates.

According to the report, the birth rate was essentially unchanged from 2011, and was 3,952,937 in 2012. For women aged 15 to 44 years, the general fertility rate was 63.0 births per 1,000 women, down slightly from 2011, after a 3 percent annual decrease from 2007 to 2010. In 2012, the birth rate for teenagers decreased 6 percent to a historic low of 29.4 per 1,000 teenagers, with rates declining for nearly all race and Hispanic origin groups. Birth rates also decreased for women in their early 20s, but increased for women in their 30s and early 40s. The non-marital birth rate decreased to 45.3 per 1,000 unmarried women aged 15 to 44, while the number of births to unmarried women increased 1 percent and the percentage of births to unmarried women was stable. The preterm birth rate and low birth weight rate both deceased in 2012, and the cesarean delivery rate was unchanged at 32.8 percent.

"The number of births to teenagers 15 to 19 dropped 7 percent during 2011 to 2012, to 305,420, the fewest since the end of World War II," the authors write.

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