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US Total births, Teenage births , Cesarean rate Up; again

Source: Births: Preliminary Data for 2007. CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. March 18, 2009;57:1–23.

Following a 14-year decline, birthrates for US teens 15 to 19 years of age increased 3% in 2006 and 1% in 2007, according to data released on March 18 by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics.

The CDC statistics reflect analysis of nearly 98.7% of birth records reported by the National Vital Statistics System for 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US territories. These records were weighted to independent control counts of all births received in state vital statistics offices in 2007.

Total births over 4.3 million: A  new record

The total number of US births in 2007 was more than 4,317,119, which is the highest US annual rate ever recorded. The general fertility rate also increased by 1% in 2007, to 69.5 births per 1000 women aged 15 to 44 years, which is the highest level recorded since 1990. These increases occurred in all race and Hispanic-origin groups and in nearly all age groups.

Cesarean section rate nearly 32%

Another record high was the cesarean delivery rate, which increased by 2% to 31.8%. The cesarean delivery rate has increased for 11 consecutive years.

Young teenagers birth rate unchanged

In 2007, birthrates remained unchanged for younger teens and preteens aged 10 to 14 years, but they increased for girls in the 15 to 19 age group and for women in their 20s, 30s, and early 40s. However, Hispanic teens had a 2% decline in the birthrate, to 81.7 births per 1000.

Since 2002, birthrates for unmarried women aged 15 to 44 years have increased by 26%. In 2007, approximately 1.7 million babies were born to unmarried women, up by 4% from 2006 and accounting for 39.7% percent of all US births. All measures of childbearing by unmarried women, including the number of births, birthrate, and proportion of births to unmarried women, increased by 3% to 5% to reach unprecedented levels in 2007.

The year 2007 also marked the first decrease in the percentage of low-birth-weight babies since 1984, from 8.3% in 2006 to 8.2% in 2007. Similarly, birthrate of preterm infants delivered at less than 37 weeks' gestation declined by 1%, to 12.7%. This decrease was primarily accounted for by a decrease in late preterm births (between 34 and 36 weeks).

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