Births in the United States, 2016

Questions for Joyce A. Martin, M.P.H., Demographer, Statistician, and Lead Author on “Births in the United States, 2016.”

Q: How have birth rates changed in 2016 among different age groups?

JM: In general, births rates for women aged under 30 declined in 2016, whereas rates for women 30 and over rose. By age group, however, the change in rates changed differed considerably. The birth rates for teens aged 15-19 declined 9% from 2015 to 2016, whereas the rates declined 4% for women aged 20-24 and 2% for women aged 25-29. For women aged 30 and over, rate rose 1% for women aged 30-34, 2% for women aged 35-39, and 4% for women aged 40-44. As a result of the rise in the birth rate for older women, women aged 30–34 have for the first time in 2016 a higher birth rate than women aged 25–29.


Q: What did your report find on the trends for triplet and higher order multiple births?

JM: The rate of triplet and higher order multiple births was 101.4 per 100,000 total births in 2016, down 48% from the peak in 1998.


Q: Was there anything in the 2016 birth data that surprised you?

JM: The continued decline in birth rates among women under age 30 and the continued increase in the preterm birth rate which rose for the second straight year to 9.85% in 2016.  This rate had been on the decline from 2007 to 2014.


Q: What is the take home message from this report?

JM: The report documents a continuation of recent trends in several key birth measures in the United States.  Most notably, continued declines in childbearing among women under 30 years of age, continued declines in the cesarean delivery rate and increases in the preterm birth rate.


Q: When do you expect the Final 2016 Births report will be released?

JM: We expect the report to be released late this year or in early 2018.

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