Births in the United States, 2013

December 4, 2014

A new NCHS report presents 2013 final birth data on several key demographic and maternal and infant health indicators. Trends in the number of births, general fertility rates, age-specific birth rates, and cesarean delivery rates by race and Hispanic origin, as well as trends in preterm births by state and trends in twin births are explored, with special focus on the most current period, 2012–2013. A previous report presented 2013 preliminary data on selected topics. Data are from the annual national natality files, representing 100% of births to U.S. residents.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • There were 3.93 million births in the United States in 2013, down less than 1% from 2012 and 9% from the 2007 high. The U.S. general fertility rate was at an all-time low in 2013.
  • Birth rates dropped to record lows in 2013 among women under age 30 and rose for most age groups 30 and over.
  • The cesarean delivery rate declined 1% from 2012 to 2013, to 32.7% of births. This rate rose nearly 60% from 1996 to 2009, but was down slightly from the 2009 high.
  • The 2013 preterm birth rate was 11.39%, down 1% from 2012 and 11% from the 2006 peak. Declines in preterm rates since 2006 were reported across the United States.
  • The twin birth rate, which had been mostly stable for 2009–2012, rose 2% in 2013 to 33.7 per 1,000 births.

 

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Trends in Low-risk Cesarean Delivery in the United States, 1990–2013

November 5, 2014

A new NCHS report explores trends in low-risk cesarean delivery at a national level, with particular focus on changes from 2009 through 2013. Trends are examined by state of residence, gestational age, age of mother, and race and Hispanic origin of mother. An earlier report based on birth certificate data, using a slightly different definition, explored low-risk trends from 1990 through 2003

Key Findings from the Report: 

  • The low-risk cesarean delivery rate reached a low of 18.4% in 1997 and then rose steadily to a high of 28.1% in 2009. The rate decreased from 2009 through 2013, reaching 26.9%. Declines were widespread during this time.
  • Low-risk cesarean delivery rates were down for more than one-half of states.
  • Rates declined for all term gestational ages (37 or more completed weeks); the largest decline was at 38 weeks, down 9%.
  • Rates for all maternal age groups and race and Hispanic origin groups were also down. The largest declines were for women under 40 (6%–8%) and for non-Hispanic white women (6%); rates for these groups decreased at all term gestational ages.