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, 2018November 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.
Regional Differences in the Drugs Most Frequently Involved in Drug Overdose Deaths: United States, 2017October 25, 2019
NCHS report describes regional differences in the specific drugs most frequently involved in drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2017. Data from the 2017 National Vital Statistics System–Mortality files were linked to electronic files containing literal text information from death certificates.
- Among drug overdose deaths in 2017 that mentioned at least 1 specific drug on the death certificate, the 10 drugs most frequently involved included fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, alprazolam, oxycodone, morphine, methadone, hydrocodone, and diphenhydramine.
- Regionally, 6 drugs (alprazolam, cocaine, fentanyl, heroin, methadone, and oxycodone) were found among the 10 most frequently involved drugs in all 10 HHS regions, although the relative ranking varied by region.
- Age-adjusted rates of drug overdose deaths involving fentanyl or deaths involving cocaine were higher in the regions east of the Mississippi River, while age-adjusted rates for drug overdose deaths involving methamphetamine were higher in the West.
- The regional patterns observed did not change after adjustment for differences in the specificity of drug reporting.
QuickStats: Birth Rates for Teens Aged 15–19 Years, by Age Group — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 1991–2018October 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.