State Teen Birth Rates by Race and Hispanic Origin: United States, 2017–2018

July 10, 2020

New NCHS report presents changes in state-specific birth rates for teenagers between 2017 and 2018 by race and Hispanic origin of mother.

Click to access NVSR69-6-508.pdf


Effects of Changes in Maternal Age Distribution and Maternal Age-specific Infant Mortality Rates on Infant Mortality Trends: United States, 2000–2017

June 25, 2020

Questions for Anne Driscoll, Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Effects of Changes in Maternal Age Distribution and Maternal Age-specific Infant Mortality Rates on Infant Mortality Trends: United States, 2000–2017.”

Q: What is difference between maternal age distribution and maternal age-specific infant mortality rates?

AD: “Maternal age distribution” refers to the percentage of women with a birth in each maternal age category; for example, the percentage who are 15-19 years old, the percentage who are 20-24 years old. The “maternal age-specific infant mortality rate” is the mortality rate of infants born to women in a given maternal age category; for example, the mortality rate of infants born to women who were 20-24 years old.


Q: Was there a specific finding in the data that surprised you from this report?

AD: It was somewhat surprising that changes in maternal age distribution mattered little or not at all for the mortality trends for infants born to non-Hispanic black and Hispanic women given the significant changes in the maternal age distribution for both groups during the study period.


Q: How did you obtain this data for this report?

AD: The data are from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS); we used natality data sets and infant mortality data sets from 2000-2017. Natality data sets are comprised of information from all birth certificates in a given year; infant mortality data sets are comprised of information from all death certificates to persons under one year of age in a given year.


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

AD: Changes in the age distribution of women giving birth accounted for about one-third of the decline in infant mortality rates from 2000 through 2017 while declines in maternal age-specific mortality rates accounted for about two-thirds of this decline. However, these patterns varied markedly by race and Hispanic origin.


Trends and Characteristics of Sexually Transmitted Infections During Pregnancy: United States, 2016-2018

March 26, 2020

Questions for Elizabeth Gregory, Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Trends and Characteristics of Sexually Transmitted Infections During Pregnancy: United States, 2016-2018.”

Q: Why did you decide to a study on sexually transmitted infections (STI) during pregnancy?

EG: Maternal STIs during pregnancy are infrequently reported but important health issues given the potential for negative health outcomes for both women and infants. However, there have been limited studies on the prevalence and characteristics of women with STIs during pregnancy.  Data on chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were new to the 2003 revision of the birth certificate, and with all jurisdictions using the 2003 birth certificate revision starting in 2016, we decided to look at trends and rates of these STIs by selected characteristics.


Q: How did you obtain this data for this report?

EG: Birth certificate data for 2016–2018 were analyzed for trends, while a more detailed analysis was conducted using 2018 data.


Q: Can you summarize how the data varied by rates by selected characteristics?

EG: The rates for the three maternal STIs studied increased 2% (chlamydia), 16% (gonorrhea), and 34% (syphilis), from 2016 through 2018.  In 2018, rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea decreased with advancing maternal age whereas those for syphilis by maternal age decreased with age through 30-34 years and then increased for women aged 35 and older.  In 2018, rates of all three STIs were highest for non-Hispanic black women, women who smoked during pregnancy, women who received late or no prenatal care, and women for whom Medicaid was the principal source of payment for the delivery.  Among women aged 25 and over, rates of each of the STIs decreased with increasing maternal education.


Q: Do you have data that goes back further than 2016?

EG: Due to the staggered implementation of the 2003 revision of the birth certificate by the states, 2016 is the first data year for which we have national data on these items.  We do have data for earlier years, but they are subnational.


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

EG: The rates for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis increased from 2016 through 2018.  Rates for these STIs varied by selected characteristics, but were generally highest among younger women, non-Hispanic black women, women who smoked during pregnancy, women who received late or no prenatal care, and women for whom Medicaid was the principal source of payment for the delivery.


Recent Trends in Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Delivery: United States, 2016–2018

March 5, 2020

Questions for Michelle Osterman, M.H.S., Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Recent Trends in Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Delivery: United States, 2016–2018,”

Q: Why did you decide to do a report on rates of vaginal birth after cesarean delivery (VBAC)?

MO: Women who deliver vaginally after a previous cesarean delivery are less likely to experience birth-related morbidities and in recent years there has been an effort in the medical community to make VBAC more available; however, national data on VBAC and VBAC trends just recently become available again This report examines the 3 years of available national data to explore recent VBAC trends.


Q: Was there a specific finding in the data that surprised you?

MO: How widespread the increase was by age, race, state of residence, and for term gestational ages was surprising.


Q: How did you obtain this data for this report?

MO: This information is from all birth certificates reported in the Unites States via the National Vital Statistics System for 2016-2018.


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

MO: There appears to be widespread increases in VBAC from 2016 through 2018.


QuickStats: Expected Number of Births over a Woman’s Lifetime — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 1940–2018

January 10, 2020

During 1940–2018, the expected number of births a woman would have over her lifetime, the total fertility rate (TFR), was highest for women during the post-World War II baby boom (births during 1946–1964). In 1957, the TFR reached a peak of 3.77 births per woman.

The TFR generally declined for the birth cohort referred to as Generation X from 2.91 in 1965 to 1.84 in 1980.

For the birth cohorts referred to as Millennials (Generation Y) and Generation Z, the TFR first increased to 2.08 in 1990 and then remained generally stable until it began to decline in 2007.

By 2018, the expected number of births per women fell to 1.73, a record low for the nation. Except for 2006 and 2007, the TFR has been below the level needed for a generation to replace itself (2.10 births per woman) since 1971.

Source: National Vital Statistics System. Birth data, 1940–2018. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/births.htm.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6901a5.htm


Births: Final Data for 2018

November 27, 2019

Questions for Joyce Martin, Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Births: Final Data for 2018

Q: What is new in this report from the 2018 provisional birth report?

JM: In addition to providing final numbers and rates for numerous birth characteristics such as fertility rates, teen childbearing, cesarean delivery and preterm and low birthweight, this report presents final information on  teen childbearing by race and Hispanic origin and by state, births to unmarried women, tobacco use during pregnancy, source of payment for the delivery and twin and triplet childbearing.


Q: Was there a specific finding in the 2018 final birth data that surprised you?

JM: The continued decline in birth rates to unmarried women (down 2% for 2017-2018 to 40.1 births per 1,000 unmarried women), the fairly steep decline in tobacco smoking among pregnant women (down 6% to 6.5% of all women) and the continued declines in twin (down 2%) and triplet (down 8%) birth rates.  Also of note is the decline in the percentage of births covered by Medicaid between 2017 and 2018 (down 2% to 42.3%) and the small rise in the percentage covered by private insurance (49.6% in 2018).


Q: How did you obtain this data for this report?

JM: These data are based on information for all birth certificates registered in the United States for 2018.


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

JM: Birth certificate data provide a wealth of important current and trend information on demographic and maternal and infant health characteristics for the United States.


Q: Why do you think the birth has dropped in the U.S.?

JM: The factors associated with family formation and childbearing are numerous and complex, involving psychological, cultural, demographic, and socio-economic influences. The data on which the report is based come from all birth certificates registered in the U.S. While the data provide a wealth of information on topics such as the number of births occurring in small areas, to small population groups, and for rare health outcomes, the data do not provide information on the attitudes and behavior of the parents regarding family formation and childbearing. Accordingly, the data in and of itself cannot answer the question of why births have dropped in the U.S.


QuickStats: Birth Rates for Teens Aged 15–19 Years, by State — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2018

November 8, 2019

In 2018, the U.S. birth rate for teens aged 15–19 years was 17.4 births per 1,000 females, with rates generally lower in the Northeast and higher across the southern states.

Teen birth rates ranged from 7.2 in Massachusetts, 8.0 in New Hampshire, 8.3 in Connecticut, and 8.8 in Vermont to rates of 30.4 in Arkansas, 27.8 in Mississippi, 27.5 in Louisiana, 27.3 in Kentucky, and 27.2 in Oklahoma.

Source: National Vital Statistics System. Birth data, 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/births.htm.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6844a5.htm


QuickStats: Birth Rates for Teens Aged 15–19 Years, by Age Group — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 1991–2018

October 11, 2019

The birth rate for teens aged 15–19 years declined from a peak of 61.8 per 1,000 females in 1991 to a record low of 17.4 in 2018.

The rate has declined more rapidly since 2007. From 2007 to 2018, the rate declined from 21.7 to 7.2 for teens aged 15–17 years and from 71.7 to 32.3 for teens aged 18–19 years.

Source: NCHS, National Vital Statistics System. Birth Data, 1991–2018. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/births.htm.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6840a7.htm


Fact or Fiction: Are multiple births in the U.S. are on the decline?

October 3, 2019

Is Twin Childbearing on the Decline? Twin births in the United States, 2014-2018

October 3, 2019

Questions for Joyce Martin, Lead Author of, “Is Twin Childbearing on the Decline? Twin births in the United States, 2014-2018.”

Q: Is this the first time you have published a report on this topic?

JM: General information on twin births is published annually in the National Vital Statistics Report series “Births: Final Data.”   A number of special reports have also been published on the topic in the past.


Q: Why did you decide to do a report on trends in twin births?

JM: There appears to be a reversal in the direction of trends in twin childbearing in the US. After increasing for decades, the number and rate of twin births trended downward for 2014-2018.  This is important to public health because of the greater risk of poor pregnancy outcome, such as preterm birth and infant death, for babies born in twin pregnancies compared with those born in single pregnancies.


Q: How did the data vary by maternal age, race and Hispanic origin and state of residence?

JM: Trends differed by all of these characteristics.  Rates for women in their 30s and over declined by 10%-12% and rates for women 40 and over by more than 20%.  In contrast, there was no significant change in trends for women in their twenties.  Among the three race/Hispanic origin groups studied, twin childbearing declined for 2014-2018 among non-Hispanic white women but were essentially unchanged among non-Hispanic black and Hispanic women. Rates declined significantly in 17 states and increased in only three states.


Q: Was there a specific finding in your report that surprised you?

JM: The steady decline in twinning from 2014 through 2018 after many years of increases was surprising as was the fairly large declines among women aged 30 and over.


Q: Do you foresee the decline in twins continuing?

JM: As fertility procedures continue to improve, twin births, and especially higher-order multiple births, would be expected to continue to decline.  However, it is important to note that older mothers, those aged 35 and over, are more likely to have a twin delivery without the use of fertility therapies.  The older age of women at birth may also affect twining rates.