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.


How’s your state doing?

December 16, 2009

NCHS now has an easy way for you to check out where your state stands on a variety of health measures compared with the nation as a whole and other states, including the following:

  • Mortality from leading causes of death
  • Birth data, including births to unmarried mothers, teen births, cesarean deliveries, low birthweight births, prenatal care, and preterm births
  • Households using only wireless phones
  • Infant mortality rates
  • Marriage and divorce rates
  • Percentage of people under 65 without health insurance

To use this tool, click on the image below.


Births–Using the NCHS Vital Stats Tool

April 8, 2009

 

NCHS birth tables with a variety of variables for selection are available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/datawh/vitalstats/VitalStatsbirths.htm.

By selecting the national or subnational (i.e., state and some county) levels, you can find specific statistics for national, state, and some county birth rates, fertility rates, method of delivery (vaginal or cesarean), length of pregnancy, birthweight, characteristics of the mother (i.e., age, race, marital status, education), prenatal care, and risk factors (i.e., diabetes, hypertension, and smoking). For journalists who need assistance, feel free to contact the NCHS press office.


Report card for Nation’s health focuses on young adults aged 18-29

February 18, 2009
Young adults in the United States aged 18-29 face a number of health challenges, including increases in obesity, high injury rates, and a lack of insurance coverage compared to other adults, according to the latest report on the nation’s health from NCHS.
  • Obesity rates have tripled among young adults in the past three decades, rising from 8 percent in 1971-74 to 24 percent in 2005-06.
  • In 2006, 29 percent of young men were current cigarette smokers compared to 21 percent of young adult women.  
  • In 2005, unintentional injuries (‘‘accidents’’), homicide, and suicide accounted for 70 percent of deaths among young adults 18–29 years of age. Three-quarters of the 47,000 deaths in this age group occurred among young men. 
  • In 2006, young adults aged 20–24 were more likely to be uninsured (34 percent) than those aged 18–19 (21 percent) and those aged 25–29 (29 percent). 

    For more visit http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus08.pdf.


Teen births increase in over one-half of states

January 7, 2009

The teen birth rate increased in more than half of all 50 states in 2006, according to an NCHS report released today. Click here for the report.

The data show teen birth rates were highest in the South and Southwest, with the highest rate recorded in Mississippi (68.4), followed by New Mexico (64.1) and Texas (63.1).

Teen birth rates in 2006 were lowest in the Northeast in 2006, with the lowest rates occurring in New Hampshire (18.7), Vermont (20.8), and Massachusetts (21.3). The only states with a decrease in teen birth rates between 2005 and 2006 were North Dakota, Rhode Island, and New York.

NCHS reported in December 2007 that the teen birth rate for the nation as a whole increased for the first time in 15 years in 2006 from 40.5 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19 in 2005 to 41.9 in 2006.

The report also features birth data on a variety of topics, including state-based and national information on teen, unmarried, and multiple births, along with health data on smoking during pregnancy, cesarean delivery, preterm birth, and low birthweight.


Unmarried Childbearing

June 26, 2007

The National Center for Health Statistics tracks the number and percentage of births to unmarried women because it is a key social indicator.  According to the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics:

Children of unmarried mothers are at higher risk of having adverse birth outcomes, such as low birthweight and infant mortality, and are more likely to live in poverty than children of married mothers.

In 2004, 35.8% of all live births were to unmarried women. Compare and contrast that to 14.3% in 1970.

Numbers of births to unmarried women and their percentage of the universe of live births from 1970 through 2004 is available here.

Two good reports we have produced on the subject are Births to Unmarried Mothers: United States, 1980-92 and Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940-99.