The total U.S. cesarean delivery rate reached a high of 32.9% of all births in 2009, rising 60% from the most recent low of 20.7 in 1996. Since 2009, the U.S. cesarean delivery rate has not increased. NCHS’s report explores cesarean delivery rates by gestational age for 1996–2011, focusing on 2009–2011. Analysis is limited to singleton births; multiple births are nearly 2.5 times more likely to be delivered by cesarean.
Key Findings from the Report:
- Cesarean delivery rates decreased more than 5% among births at 38 weeks of gestation, but increased 4% among births at 39 weeks.
- Decreases in cesarean delivery rates for births at 38 weeks occurred for non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic women, as well as for all maternal age groups.
- Increases in cesarean delivery rates for births at 39 weeks occurred among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic women, as well as for all maternal age groups.
- The cesarean delivery rate at 38 weeks decreased in 30 states; the cesarean delivery rate at 39 weeks increased in 23 states.