From 42.5 births per 1,000 in 2008 to 39.1 per 1,000 in 2009, the American teenage birth rate dropped last year to a record low ever since record began seventy years ago, says a report issued by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The historic lows were seen across all ethnic groups and teenage years, the authors wrote.
These figures are not based on any nationally-representative samples, but on virtually all birth records gathered from 50 states, the District of Columbia and US territories.
Overall fertility rates have also declined, the report informs.
The national fertility rates, among females aged between 15 and 44 years dropped from 68.6 per 1,000 in 2008 to 66.7 per 1,000 in 2009.
In 2008, a total of 4,247,694 babies were born in America, compared to 4,131,019 in 2009. According to January-June 2010 figures, the falling trend is continuing.
The report also informs that:
- 2009 saw the first drop in births to unmarried mothers since 1997, while the birth rate per 1,000 unmarried mothers also fell for the first time since 2002. As the number of total births dropped faster than unmarried births, the percentage of births to unmarried mothers saw a slight increase from 40.6% in 2008 to 41% in 2009.
- There was a 7% drop in the birth weight for females in their early 20s, the biggest fall since 1973.
- The preterm birth rate of approximately 12.2% of all births in 2009, was the third consecutive drop in three years.
- 32.9% of all deliveries in 2009 were by cesarean section - a record high (32.2% in 2008).
- The low birth weight rate remained the same throughout 2008-2009 at less than 8.2%, compared to 8.3% in 2006.
Written by Christian Nordqvist