Average age of women giving birth increases over the last year, CDC says

September 11, 2013 by Karen Kaplan

The average age of women giving birth in America rose last year as the nation's birthrate held steady after several years of decline, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The birthrate among teens and women in their early 20s hit historic lows in 2012, according to a new report released Friday by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. Meanwhile, the proportion of women in their 30s and early 40s who had babies rose. The birthrate for women in their late 40s held steady.

Americans have been to fewer babies every year since 2007, a trend that has been linked to the onset of the Great Recession. But now that decline seems to have stabilized.

With 99.96 percent of the country's vital statistics now tallied, the CDC said 3,952,937 babies were born in the United States in 2012. That's only 653 fewer than in 2011.

The teen birthrate reached an all-time low in 2012, with 29.4 births for every 1,000 young women ages 15 to 19. Just five years ago, the rate was 41.5 births per 1,000, and in 1991 it was as high as 61.8.

Women in their 20s gave to more babies than women in any other age group - a total of 2,040,878 babies in 2012. But the birthrate among these twentysomethings continued to fall. In fact, the 83.1 births per 1,000 women ages 20 to 24 represents a record low for the U.S.

But saw increases. The birthrate for women ages 30 to 34 rose 1 percent from 2011, to 97.3 babies per 1,000 women; the rate for women ages 35 to 39 rose 2 percent, to 48.3 births per 1,000 women; and the rate for women ages 40 to 44 rose 1 percent, to 10.4 births per 1,000 women.

Births among 15 to 44 either declined or held steady for nearly every racial and ethnic group tracked by the CDC. The one exception was among women of Asian and Pacific Islander descent; these women had 272,949 babies, a 7 percent increase from 2011.

Similarly, only four states - Idaho, Kansas, North Dakota and Ohio - registered increases in their birthrates in 2012.

The birthrate fell in 13 states: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey and North Carolina. It held steady in the remaining 33 states and the District of Columbia.

New Hampshire had the lowest birthrate (50.2 babies per 1,000 women) and Utah had the highest (83.1 babies per 1,000 women).

The report also noted that American women as a whole aren't having enough babies to replace the current population (although the total population still rises as a result of immigration). To keep the population steady through births alone, there would need to be 2,100 births for every 1,000 American women over their lifetimes. But in 2012, the total fertility rate was only 1,880.5 births per 1,000 women.

Explore further: After years of decline, US births leveling off?

Related Stories

After years of decline, US births leveling off?

September 6, 2013
After falling four years in a row, U.S. births may finally be leveling off. The number of babies born last year—a little shy of 4 million—is only a few hundred less than the number in 2011, according to a government report ...

US teen birth rate drops to record low

May 23, 2013
US teen births have dropped to a record low, but the country still has one of the highest rates among developed nations, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

More US C-sections are now done closer to due date

June 27, 2013
(AP)—Not only has America's high level of C-sections finally stopped rising, but more of the operations are taking place closer to the mother's due date, a new government report found.

More US women having twins; rate at 1 in 30 babies

January 4, 2012
More U.S. women are having twins these days. The reason? Older moms and fertility treatments.

Medicaid pays for nearly half of all births in the United States

September 3, 2013
Medicaid paid for nearly half of the 3.8 million births in the United States in 2010—an amount that has been rising over time, according to a report out today. The study, published in the September 2013 issue of the peer-reviewed ...

Recommended for you

Schoolchildren who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try tobacco

August 17, 2017
Vaping - or the use of e-cigarettes - is widely accepted as a safer option for people who are already smoking.

Study shows cigarette makers shifted stance on nicotine patches, gum

August 17, 2017
The use of nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers or nasal sprays—together called "nicotine replacement therapy," or NRT—came into play in 1984 as prescription medicine, which when combined with counseling, helped ...

Federal snack program does not yield expected impacts, researchers find

August 17, 2017
A well-intentioned government regulation designed to offer healthier options in school vending machines has failed to instill better snacking habits in a sample of schools in Appalachian Virginia, according to a study by ...

In a nutshell: Walnuts activate brain region involved in appetite control

August 17, 2017
Packed with nutrients linked to better health, walnuts are also thought to discourage overeating by promoting feelings of fullness. Now, in a new brain imaging study, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) ...

Energy dense foods may increase cancer risk regardless of obesity status

August 17, 2017
Diet is believed to play a role in cancer risk. Current research shows that an estimated 30% of cancers could be prevented through nutritional modifications. While there is a proven link between obesity and certain types ...

Technology is changing Generation smartphone, and not always for the better

August 16, 2017
It's easy to imagine some graybeard long ago weighing in on how this new generation, with all its fancy wheels, missed out on the benefits of dragging stuff from place to place.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.