Three Decades of Nonmarital First Births Among Fathers Aged 15–44 in the United States

June 8, 2015

Nonmarital childbearing in the United States increased from the 1940s to the 1990s, peaked in 2007–2008, and declined in 2013. In 2013, the nonmarital birth rate was 44.8 births per 1,000 unmarried women aged 15–44.

Using data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), a new NCHS report examines nonmarital first births reported by fathers aged 15–44. This report presents trends in nonmarital first births by father’s age at birth and Hispanic origin and race. Given increases in births occurring in cohabiting unions, first births within cohabitation are also examined.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • The percentage of fathers aged 15–44 whose first births were nonmarital was lower in the 2000s (36%) than in the previous 2 decades.
  • Fathers with first births in the 2000s were more likely to be in a nonmarital cohabiting union (24%) than those in the 1980s (19%).
  • The percentage of fathers with a nonmarital first birth over the past 3 decades has remained similar for Hispanic and non-Hispanic white men, but has declined for non-Hispanic black men (1980s, 77%; 2000s, 66%).
  • Fathers with nonmarital first births in the 2000s were less likely to be non-Hispanic black men (21%) than Hispanic (33%) or non-Hispanic white (39%) men.
  • Fathers with nonmarital first births in the 2000s were more likely to be older at the time of the birth (33%) than those in the previous 2 decades.


HIV Testing in the Past Year Among the U.S. Household Population Aged 15–44: 2011–2013

June 2, 2015

In 2011, more than 1 million Americans aged 13 and over were living with HIV infection, and one in seven did not know their infection status. Routine, voluntary HIV testing is a recognized way to reduce HIV transmission.

A new NCHS report updates nationally representative estimates and trends for HIV testing in the past year (excluding donation of blood or blood products, during which individuals are routinely tested) among the U.S. household population aged 15–44.

Patterns of reported HIV testing in 2011–2013 are shown by age, race and Hispanic origin, education, and selected sexual behaviors that may be related to an elevated risk of HIV infection.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • Overall, 19% of persons aged 15–44 in 2011–2013 had been tested for HIV in the past year, including 22% of females and 16% of males.
  • Higher percentages of HIV testing in the past year were seen for persons aged 15–34 compared with those aged 35–44, and for non-Hispanic black persons compared with other race and ethnicity groups.
  • Four of 10 males who had same-sex sexual contact in the past year had been tested for HIV in the past year, compared with 2 of 10 who had opposite-sex sexual contact in the past year.
  • Levels of HIV testing in the past year were higher for persons with behaviors that increase HIV risk, including having one or more same-sex partners or higher numbers of opposite-sex sexual partners in the past year.



Measuring Gestational Age in Vital Statistics Data: Transitioning to the Obstetric Estimate

June 1, 2015

Beginning with the 2014 data year, NCHS is transitioning to a new standard for estimating the gestational age of a newborn. The new measure, the obstetric estimate of gestation at delivery (OE), replaces the measure based on the date of the last normal menses (LMP). This transition is being made because of increasing evidence of the greater validity of the OE compared with the LMP-based measure.

A new NCHS report describes the relationship between the two measures. Agreement between the two measures is shown for 2013. Comparisons between the two measures for single gestational weeks and selected gestational age categories for 2013, and trends in the two measures for 2007–2013 by gestational category, focusing on preterm births, are shown for the United States and by race and Hispanic origin and state.

Data are derived from U.S. birth certificates for 2007–2013 for 100% of reported resident births.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • Estimates of pregnancy length were the same for the OE-and LMP-based measures for 62.1% of all births, and within 1 week for 83.4% in 2013.
  • The mean OE-based gestational age for all 2013 births was 38.5 weeks, lower than the LMP-based average of 38.7.
  • Births were less likely to be classified as preterm using the OE (9.62%) than with the LMP (11.39%). The 2013 OE preterm rate was lower than the LMP rate for 49 states and the District of Columbia.
  • The OE-based percentage of full-term deliveries was higher than the LMP-based percentage; levels of late-term and postterm deliveries were lower. Preterm birth rates declined for both measures from 2007 through 2013 (8% compared with 10%).
  • The OE-based 2013 preterm infant mortality rate was 19% higher than the LMP rate.