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CDC: 2010 Saw Decrease in Birth and Fertility Rates

Lower birth rates observed across all races and ages, except for women in their early 40s

THURSDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Birth and fertility rates decreased by 3 percent in 2010, with teenage birth rates at a historic low, according to a report published Nov. 17 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Brady E. Hamilton, Ph.D., from National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Md., and colleagues reported preliminary data for 2010 on births in the United States and compared them with data from 2009.

The investigators note that the preliminary numbers of births (4,000,279) in 2010 was down 3 percent from 2009. The general fertility rate and total fertility rate in 2010 also decreased by 3 percent from that reported in 2009. In 2010, the number and rates of births declined for all races. Birth rates for 15 to 19 year olds hit a record low of 34.3 per 1,000 (9 percent decline). Teenage birth rates were at a historic low for all ages and races. The birth rate declined for women in their 20s and 30s; the only age-specific rate to increase was for women in their early 40s. The birth rate and percentage of births in unmarried women fell to 49.9 per 1,000 and 40.8 percent, respectively. The rate of cesarean deliveries decreased for the first time in a decade to 32.8 percent. The rate of preterm birth decreased to 11.99 percent and the low birth weight rate was unchanged at 8.15 percent.

"[This report] presents preliminary data on births and birth rates and selected maternal and infant health characteristics for the United States in 2010," the authors write.

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