Tags: U.S. birthrate | record lows | National Center for Health Statistics

Report: US Birthrate Hits Record Low

Image: Report: US Birthrate Hits Record Low

(Andrew Matthews/AP)

By    |   Friday, 20 October 2017 05:28 PM

The U.S. birthrate hit a record low last year — due largely to a decline in the numbers of teenagers having babies, The Wall Street Journal reported.

According to numbers released last month by the National Center for Health Statistics, there were 62 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age — those between 15 years old and 44 years old — in 2016, down one percent from the prior year.

The new figures also showed the birthrate among teenagers fell nine percent in 2016 from 2015, to 20.3 births per 1,000 women, the lowest figure for teens since at least 1940, the Journal reported.

Still, older moms — those between 40 and 44 – had 11.4 births per 1,000 women, four percent higher than the previous year, the figures showed.

The only group having fewer children was women between 40 to 44. But unlike teens, the older women gave birth at a higher rate than the year before, increasing by four percent to 11.4 births per 1,000 women.

Here's some more numbers from the data:

– Women ages 35 to 39 had an average of 52.7 births per 1,000 women, an increase of two percent.

– But women 20 to 24 had 73.8 births per 1,000 women, down four percent from the previous year; women 25 to 29 had 102.1 births per 1,000 women, down two percent from 2015, and women 30 to 34 had 102.7 births per 1,000 women, an increase of just one percent.

According to the Journal, economists and others who study the birth rate figures are questioning whether younger women are just delaying pregnancy — or skipping it.

"That's the question people are asking," Mark Mather, who specializes in U.S. demographic trends for the non-profit research group Population Reference Bureau, told the Journal. "Will they catch up or will their completed fertility levels be lower than those of previous generations?"

Brady Hamilton, who co-wrote the NCHS report, told the Journal, the data on the younger women-older women split is "an important piece of information, but it's not a full picture."

According to the Journal, a measure favored by some demographers is the total fertility rate, a projection of how many children a woman will have in her lifetime.

At its low point in 1976, the total fertility rate projected that women of childbearing age that year would have an average of 1.7 children. The rate is now 1.8, the Journal reported.

"The total number of births has generally increased or remained steady over time, even though fertility rates have declined," Mather told the Journal. "This is because the total number of women of reproductive age in the U.S. has increased as the population has grown."

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The U.S. birthrate hit a record low last year - due largely to a decline in the numbers of teenagers having babies, The Wall Street Journal reported.According to numbers released last month by the National Center for Health Statistics, there were 62 births per 1,000 women...
U.S. birthrate, record lows, National Center for Health Statistics
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2017-28-20
Friday, 20 October 2017 05:28 PM
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