United States birth rate drops to another record low

US Fertility Rates Hit Record Lows... Again

Fertility rates among younger women continued to hit record lows last year, with the lowest number of births in 30 years, CDC researchers found.

Brady E. Hamilton, Ph.D., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Md., and colleagues presented provisional data for 2017 on US births.

Birth rates fell for almost all age groups of women younger than 40 in 2017, sending overall fertility rates to a record low, USA health officials reported Thursday.

The report showed women in their early 40s were the only group with a higher birth rate previous year, up 2 percent. The total fertility rate was down 3% to 1,764.5 births per 1,000 women - which the authors noted was the lowest total fertility rate since 1978.

Data based on more than 99 percent of USA birth certificates counted 3.853 million births past year, about 92,000 fewer than 2016.

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In the United States, the provisional or "draft" number of births in 2017 was tallied at 3,853,472 births - a 2 percent drop from the year before.

The number of teens giving birth fell 7 percent in 2017, continuing a trend since the early 1990s.

While the number of births nudged up in 2014, it's fallen for three consecutive years.

However, pre-term births increased for the third year in a row. There were increases in the cesarean delivery rate and in the low-risk cesarean delivery rate to 32.0 and 26.0 percent, respectively, in 2017.

The CDC report was released online May 17 in a National Vital Statistics System Rapid Release.