NCHS has released its latest quarterly data on provisional mortality rates in the U.S. for several leading causes of death. This data set features the first estimated (provisional) death rates for full-year 2018 for disease-related leading causes of death. Full-year 2018 provisional death rates for external causes of death such as drug overdoses, homicide, firearm mortality, and suicide will not yet be available in this quarterly release.
Also, this quarterly release of data features only death rates (the number of deaths per 100,000 population) and not whole numbers of deaths.
This data is available on an interactive online dashboard at the following address: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/mortality-dashboard.htm.
Questions for Brady E. Hamilton, Ph.D., Demographer, Statistician, and Lead Author of “Births: Provisional Data for 2018.”
Q: How does the provisional 2018 birth data compare to previous years?
BH: The number of births, the general fertility rate, the total fertility rate, birth rates for women aged 15-34, the cesarean delivery rate and the low-risk cesarean delivery rate declined from 2017 to 2018, whereas the birth rates for women aged 35-44 and the preterm birth rate rose.
Q: When do you expect the final 2018 birth report to come out?
BH: The 2018 final birth report is scheduled for release in the fall of 2019.
Q: How did the data vary by age and race?
BH: Birth measures shown in the report varied widely by age and race and Hispanic origin groups. Birth rates ranged from 0.2 births per 1,000 females aged 10-14 to 99.6 births per 1,000 women aged 30-34. By race and Hispanic origin, the cesarean delivery rate ranged from 28.7% of births for non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native women to 36.1% for non-Hispanic black women and the preterm birth rate ranged from 8.56% for non-Hispanic Asian women to 14.12% for non-Hispanic black women.
Q: Was there a specific finding in the provisional data that surprised you?
BH: The report includes a number of interesting findings. The record lows reached for the general fertility rate, the total fertility rate and birth rates for females aged 15-19, 15-17, 18-19, and 20-24 are noteworthy. In addition, the magnitude of the continued decline in the birth rate for teens aged 15-19, down 7% from 2017 to 2018, is also historic.
Q: What is the take home message for this report?
BH: The number of births for the United States was down 2% from 2017 to 2018, as were the general fertility rate and the total fertility rate, with both at record lows in 2018. Birth rates declined for nearly all age groups of women under 35, but rose for women in their late 30s and early 40s. The birth rate for teenagers aged 15–19 was down 7% from 2017 to 2018. The cesarean delivery rate and low-risk cesarean delivery rate were down in 2018. The preterm birth rate rose for the fourth year in a row in 2018.
Q: Do you anticipate this drop will continue?
BH: The factors associated with family formation and childbearing are numerous and complex. The data on which the report are based come from all birth certificates registered in the U.S. While the scope of these data is wide, with detailed demographic and health information on rare events, small areas, or small population groups, the data do not provide information on the attitudes and behavior of the parents regarding family formation and childbearing. Accordingly, these data do not answer the question of why the number of births dropped in 2018 or if the decline will continue.
QuickStats: Breast Cancer Death Rates Among Women Aged 50–74 Years, by Race/Ethnicity — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2006 and 2016June 4, 2018
The U.S. death rate from breast cancer among all women aged 50–74 years decreased 15.1%, from 53.8 per 100,000 in 2006 to 45.7 in 2016.
In both 2006 and 2016, the death rate was higher among non-Hispanic black women compared with non-Hispanic white women and Hispanic women.
From 2006 to 2016, the death rate from breast cancer decreased for non-Hispanic white women from 54.6 per 100,000 to 46.2, for Hispanic women from 34.8 to 31.0, and for non-Hispanic black women from 71.7 to 64.1.
Source: National Vital Statistics System, 2006 and 2016. https://wonder.cdc.gov/ucd-icd10.html.
Questions for Brady E. Hamilton, Ph.D., Demographer, Statistician, and Lead Author of “Births: Provisional Data for 2017”
Q: What did you think was the most interesting finding in your new analysis?
BH: The report includes a number of very interesting findings. The general fertility rate, 60.2 births per 1,000 women aged 15–44, declining 3% in 2017 and reaching a record low is certainly noteworthy. In addition, the continued decline in the birth rate for teens, down 7% from 2016 to in 2017, and reaching another record low, is very significant. The increase in the cesarean delivery rate following several years of decline is noteworthy as are the recent increase in rates of preterm and low birthweight births.
Q: Why does fertility keep going down in the U.S.?
BH: In general, there are a number of factors associated with fertility. The data on which the report is based comes from the birth certificates registered for births in the U.S. While the scope of this data is essentially all births in the country, and provides detailed information about rare events, small areas, or small population groups, the data does not provide information about the parent’s decision to have (or not have) a child. And so, accordingly, we cannot examine the “why” of the changes and trends in births.
Q: Does the decline in the Total Fertility Rate essentially mean fertility is down below “replacement” levels? Could you explain this in general terms?
BH: “Replacement” refers to a minimum rate of reproduction necessary for generation to exactly replace itself, that is, enough children born to replace a group of 1,000 women and their partners. For the total fertility rate, this rate is generally considered to be 2,100 births per 1,000 women. In 2017, the total fertility rate, 1,764.5 births per 1,000 women, was below replacement.
Q: Do the increases among women over 40 suggest a “new norm” in people waiting till much later to have children?
BH: Birth rates for women aged 40-44 and 45-49 years have increased generally over the last 3 decades. Given this, it reasonable to expect this trend to continue.
Q: Are the annual declines in teen pregnancy something that we are in danger of taking for granted?
BH: The birth rate for females aged 15-19 has decreased 8% per year from 2007 through 2017. For comparison, the decline in the birth rates for women aged 20-24 and 25-29 was 4% and 2% from 2007 through 2017. The decline in teen births is very noteworthy.
Q: Can you explain how the increases in preterm births and low birthweight are connected?
BH: Infants born preterm are also often, but not exclusively, born low birthweight and vice-versa. The causes of the recent upward shift in these rates are not well understood.