More Unmarried, Older Women Gave Birth in U.S. in 2004

CDC data show that U.S. births up in 2004; teen births down

FRIDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Childbearing by unmarried women in the United States reached a record high of almost 1.5 million births in 2004, up 4% from 2003, according to preliminary data released Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2004, more than one-third of all births -- 35.7% -- were to unmarried women. More than four in five births to teenagers were among unmarried teens, and more than half of births to women in their early 20s were to unmarried women. Births to older women also increased. From 2003 to 2004, births increased 4% for women aged 35-39 and 3% for women aged 40-44, the CDC reports.

Meanwhile, births to teenagers dropped to an all-time low of 41.2 births per 1,000 teens aged 15-19, the CDC states. That was 1% lower than in 2003 (41.6 per 1,000), and 33% lower than in 1991 (61.8 per 1,000 teens).

Overall, there were 4.1 million births in 2004, almost 1% more than in 2003, according to the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. This includes 66.3 live births per 1,000 women aged 15-44, up from 66.1 live births per 1,000 in 2003.

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