Women in 30s now having more babies than younger moms in US

May 17, 2017 by Mike Stobbe
Credit: Vera Kratochvil/Public Domain

For the first time, women in their early 30s are having more babies than younger moms in the United States.

Health experts say the shift is due to more women waiting longer to have children and the ongoing drop in the teen rate.

For more than three decades, women in their late 20s had the highest birth rates, but that changed last year, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The birth rate for 30 to 34 was about 103 per 100,000; the rate for women ages 25 to 29 was 102 per 100,000. The CDC did not release the actual numbers of deliveries for each age group.

It's becoming more common to see older parents with kids in elementary or high school, said Bill Albert of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

Meanwhile, more teens are growing up with fewer of their peers getting pregnant, he said.

"We always talk about peer pressure as a negative, but it can be a force for good," Albert said.

A separate CDC report focusing on deaths found the nation's overall rate fell last year after an unusual and worrisome increase in 2015.

The reports are based on a first look at birth and death certificates filed across the country last year.

Among the findings:

— The overall birth rate was down slightly in 2016, to 62 births per 100,000 women ages 15 to 44.

— The average age when have their first child is about 28.

— The teen birth rate continued to drop last year.

—The stayed about the same.

—The overall death rate fell to about 724 per 100,000 people in 2016, down from 733 the year before.

Experts said the 2015 increase was tied to an unexpected leveling off in the death rate from the nation's leading killer, heart disease.

Heart disease and stroke deaths were falling steadily until 2011, but then the annual decreases shrank. In 2015, the heart disease death rate increased nearly 1 percent, and started to go down again in 2016.

Now it seems like 2015 may have been blip, "but we can't tell right now what will happen next year or in the next couple of years," said Dr. Stephen Sidney, a researcher at Kaiser Permanente Northern California who has written on death trends.

Explore further: Teen births fall again, another drop in decades of decline

Related Stories

Teen births fall again, another drop in decades of decline

June 2, 2016
Teen pregnancies fell again last year, to another historic low, a government report shows.

US death rate rose slightly last year—first time in decade

June 1, 2016
The U.S. death rate rose slightly last year—the first increase in a decade, health officials reported Wednesday.

Teen birth rate in the US hits record low for 7th consecutive year

October 3, 2016
The birthrate among U.S. teenagers hit an all-time low in 2015, the seventh straight year a new record has been set.

CDC: US still faces too many repeat teen births

May 1, 2017
(HealthDay)—Although rates of repeat births among teens are on the decline, tens of thousands of American teens are still getting pregnant for a second time, according to research published in the April 28 issue of the ...

Is baby recession over? US births up after years of decline

June 17, 2015
It appears the baby recession really is over: Preliminary figures show U.S. births were up last year for the first time in seven years.

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 ...

Recommended for you

Expert: Be concerned about how apps collect, share health data

October 20, 2017
As of 2016 there were more than 165,000 health and wellness apps available though the Apple App Store alone. According to Rice University medical media expert Kirsten Ostherr, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates ...

Three million Americans carry loaded handguns daily, study finds

October 19, 2017
An estimated 3 million adult American handgun owners carry a firearm loaded and on their person on a daily basis, and 9 million do so on a monthly basis, new research indicates. The vast majority cited protection as their ...

More teens than ever aren't getting enough sleep

October 19, 2017
If you're a young person who can't seem to get enough sleep, you're not alone: A new study led by San Diego State University Professor of Psychology Jean Twenge finds that adolescents today are sleeping fewer hours per night ...

Across Asia, liver cancer is linked to herbal remedies: study

October 18, 2017
Researchers have uncovered widespread evidence of a link between traditional Chinese herbal remedies and liver cancer across Asia, a study said Wednesday.

Eating better throughout adult years improves physical fitness in old age, suggests study

October 18, 2017
People who have a healthier diet throughout their adult lives are more likely to be stronger and fitter in older age than those who don't, according to a new study led by the University of Southampton.

Global calcium consumption appears low, especially in Asia

October 18, 2017
Daily calcium intake among adults appears to vary quite widely around the world in distinct regional patterns, according to a new systematic review of research data ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on Friday, Oct. 20.

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.