Pregnancy Rates for U.S. Women Continue to Drop

NCHS has released a report that provides a comprehensive picture of pregnancies and pregnancy outcomes.  Pregnancy rates for women in the United States continued to decline in 2009, reaching the lowest level in 12 years (102.1 per 1,000 women aged 15–44). This level is 12% below the 1990 peak (115.8). The estimated number of pregnancies dropped to 6,369,000 (4,131,000 live births, 1,152,000 induced abortions, and 1,087,000 fetal losses). The drop in birth rates since 2007 has been well documented. However, it is important to examine the other outcomes of pregnancy to understand the full scope of current reproductive trends.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • The pregnancy rate for U.S. women in 2009 was 102.1 per 1,000 women aged 15–44, the lowest level in 12 years; only the 1997 rate of 101.6 has been lower in the last 30 years.
  • Rates for women under age 30 fell during 1990–2009, while rates for women aged 30 and over increased.
  • Rates for teenagers reached historic lows in 2009, including rates for the three major race and Hispanic origin groups.
  • Pregnancy rates have declined about 10% each for married and unmarried women since 1990.
  • The birth rate for married women was 72% higher than the rate for unmarried women; the abortion rate for unmarried women was almost five times higher than the rate for married women.

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