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.


Maternal Characteristics and Infant Outcomes in Appalachia and the Delta

September 25, 2019

Questions for Anne Driscoll, Lead Author of ”Maternal Characteristics and Infant Outcomes in Appalachia and the Delta.”

Q: Why did you decide to do focus your report on maternal characteristics and infant outcomes in the Appalachia and Delta?

AD: The general goal was to explore regional patterns in health risk factors and outcomes.


Q: How did the data vary by region?

AD: In general, maternal characteristics and infant outcomes were the worst in the Delta, followed by Appalachia; they were generally best in the rest of the U.S.


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

AD: Although outcomes did vary across regions for infants born to non-Hispanic white and black women, they did differ between Appalachia and the Delta for infants of Hispanic women and usually did not differ between these two regions and the rest of the U.S.


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

AD: Differences in maternal characteristics account for some, but not all, of the differences in infant outcomes between Appalachia, the Delta and the rest of the U.S.


Q: Why do you think there are differences in maternal characteristics among the Delta, Appalachia and the rest of the U.S.?

AD: Appalachia and the Delta are two of the most disadvantaged regions in the U.S., with higher poverty, poorer overall health (behaviors and outcomes) and lower educational levels than the U.S. as a whole. We would expect that the characteristics of women giving birth in these regions to reflect these patterns (e.g., lower educational attainment, higher rates of obesity and smoking, and higher rates of WIC receipt and Medicaid).