Births: Final Data for 2015

January 5, 2017

Questions for Joyce A. Martin, M.P.H., Demographer, Statistician, and Lead Author on “Births: Final Data for 2015

Q: Was there a result in your study’s analysis of births in the United States that you hadn’t expected and that really surprised you?

JM: Although small, (from 9.57% to 9.63%) the rise in the preterm birth rate (births of less than 37 completed weeks of gestation) was unexpected. This rate had been declining steadily since 2007.

Also of note is the decline in the triplet and higher-order multiple birth rate, down 9% from 2014 to 2015, and a decrease of 46% since 1998. The year 2015 also is the third straight year of declines in the rate of cesarean delivery (rate of 32.0% in 2015).

The continued, large decline in the teen birth rate (down 8% from 2014 to 2015) was also somewhat surprising, although not unprecedented. From 2007 through 2014, the teen birth rates had declined 7% annually.


Q: What is the difference between this new births report and the other reports your office produced on 2015 birth data, like the preliminary data report on 2015 births and the Data Brief on teen births?

JM: The annual report “Births: Final Data for 2015” offers substantially more detail (e.g., age, race and Hispanic origin of mother, state) on key topics, than does the report on preliminary birth statistics (“Births: Preliminary Data for 2015”). The final report also includes information on topics not included in the preliminary reports such as multiple births, attendant and place of birth, birth order and birth rates for fathers.


Q: How has the number of births in the United States changed in 2015 from previous years?

JM: The number of births in the United States declined slightly in 2015 (by 9,579 births to 3,978,497) from 2014. The decline for 2015 followed an increase in births for 2014, which was the first increase since 2007.


Q: What differences, if any, did you see among race and ethnic groups, and among various ages?

JM: Of continued concern are the higher risks of poor birth outcomes as measured by levels of preterm birth and low birthweight among non-Hispanic black mothers compared with total births and other race and Hispanic origin groups. For example, in 2015 the preterm birth rate for births to non-Hispanic black mothers was more than 50% higher at 13.41% than for non-Hispanic white women (8.88%) and nearly 50% higher than the rate for births to Hispanic mothers (9.14%).


Q: Did you observe any regional or state differences in this study on births?

JM: Differences by state were observed for many of the demographic and medical/health items included in the 2015 final birth report. For example, from 2014 to 2015, the general fertility rate–which is the number of births per 1,000 women aged 15–44–declined in eight states and was essentially unchanged in the 42 states and the District of Columbia (DC). In 2015, the general fertility rate ranged among states from 51.1 births per 1,000 women aged 15–44 in Vermont to 78.2 in South Dakota.

Also, increases in preterm birth rates were limited to four states from 2014 to 2015: Arkansas, California, Nebraska, and North Carolina. Rates declined in four states: Montana, New York, Texas and Wyoming. Nonsignificant differences were reported for the remaining states and DC.


Smoking Prevalence and Cessation Before and During Pregnancy

February 10, 2016

Smoking_Pregnancy

A new NCHS report presents findings on maternal smoking prevalence and cessation before and during pregnancy as collected on the 2003 U.S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth, for a 46-state and District of Columbia reporting area, representing 95% of all births in the United States.

Findings:

  • About 1 in 10 women who gave birth in 2014 smoked during the 3 months before pregnancy (10.9%), and about one-quarter of these women (24.2%) did not smoke during pregnancy (i.e., quit before pregnancy).
  • The smoking rate at any time during pregnancy was 8.4%, with 20.6% of women who smoked in the first or second trimesters quitting by the third trimester.
  • Smoking during pregnancy was more prevalent for women aged 20–24 (13.0%) than for other ages, and by race and Hispanic origin, the highest rate was for non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native women (18%).

Average Age of Mothers is on the Rise in the United States

January 14, 2016

A mother’s age at birth, and particularly the mean or “average” age when a mother has her first child, is of interest to researchers and the public. Mean age can affect the total number of births a mother has over a lifetime, which in turn impacts the composition and growth of the U.S. population.

Age of mother is associated with a range of birth outcomes, such as multiple births and birth defects. An earlier report presented trends in mean age from 1970 to 2000.

An NCHS report presents trends in the mean age at first and higher birth orders by race and Hispanic origin of mother and by state from 2000 to 2014.

Findings:

  • The mean age of mothers has increased from 2000 to 2014 for all birth orders, with age at first birth having the largest increase, up from 24.9 years in 2000 to 26.3 years in 2014.
  • Increases in the average age for all birth orders were most pronounced from 2009 to 2014.
  • In 2014, Asian or Pacific Islander mothers had the oldest average age at first birth (29.5 years), while American Indian or Alaska Native mothers had the youngest (23.1 years).
  • Mean age at first birth increased in all states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) from 2000 to 2014, but D.C. (3.4 years) and Oregon had the largest increases (2.1 years).

Births: Final Data for 2014

December 23, 2015

NCHS has released a new report that presents 2014 data on U.S. births according to a wide variety of characteristics.

Data are presented for maternal age, live-birth order, race and Hispanic origin, marital status, attendant at birth, method of delivery, period of gestation, birthweight,and plurality.

Birth and fertility rates are presented by age, live-birth order, race and Hispanic origin, and marital status.

Key Findings:

  • In 2014, 3,988,076 births were registered in the United States, up 1% from 2013.
  • The general fertility rate rose slightly to 62.9 per 1,000 women aged 15–44, the first increase in the rate since 2007.
  • The teen birth rate fell 9% from 2013 to 2014, to 24.2 per 1,000 females aged 15–19.
  • Birth rates declined for women in their early 20s but increased for women aged 25–39.
  • The total fertility rate (estimated number of births over a woman’s lifetime) rose slightly to 1,862.5 births per 1,000 women.
  • The birth rate for unmarried women declined for the sixth straight year.
  • The cesarean delivery rate declined to 32.2%.
  • The preterm birth rate declined 1% to 9.57%, but the low birthweight rate was essentially unchanged at 8%.
  • The 2014 twin birth rate was 33.9 per 1,000 births, a new high for the United States; the triplet and higher-order multiple birth rate dropped 5% to 113.5 per 100,000 total births.

Mortality in the United States, 2012

October 8, 2014

A new NCHS report presents 2012 U.S. final mortality data on deaths and death rates by demographic and medical characteristics. These data provide information on mortality patterns among residents of the United States by such variables as sex, race and ethnicity, and cause of death. Information on mortality patterns is key to understanding changes in the health and well-being of the U.S. population. Life expectancy estimates, age-adjusted death rates by race and ethnicity and sex, 10 leading causes of death, and 10 leading causes of infant death were analyzed by comparing 2012 final data with 2011 final data.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • Life expectancy at birth for the U.S. population reached a record high of 78.8 years in 2012.
  • The age-adjusted death rate for the United States decreased 1.1% from 2011 to 2012 to a record low of 732.8 per 100,000 standard population.
  • The 10 leading causes of death in 2012 remained the same as in 2011. Age-adjusted death rates decreased significantly from 2011 to 2012 for 8 of the 10 leading causes and increased significantly for one leading cause (suicide).
  • The infant mortality rate decreased 1.5% from 2011 to 2012 to a historic low of 597.8 infant deaths per 100,000 live births. The 10 leading causes of infant death in 2012 remained the same as in 2011.

Have late preterm births increased among mothers of all ages?

November 18, 2009

Late preterm birth rates have risen among mothers of all ages from 1990 to 2006, including teenage mothers (up 5 percent). Among mothers age 25 years and over, late preterm birth rates increased by more than 20 percent from 1990 to 2006. Younger (under age 20 years) and older (40 years and over) mothers are the most likely to have a late preterm baby.

For more trends in late preterm births in the United States, visit the NCHS Data Brief at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db24.pdf.


Report on Hurricane Katrina’s effect on the number of births in the Gulf Region released

August 26, 2009

 

On Friday, August 28, 2009, CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics released “The Effect of Hurricane Katrina: Births in the U.S. Gulf Coast Region, Before and After the Storm.” The report documents how births were impacted in 91 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designated counties and parishes of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi for a 12-month period before and after Hurricane Katrina (August 29, 2004 to August 28, 2006). Visit the NCHS Press Room for more information.