US fertility rate and teen birth rate hits 32-year low – as premature deliveries continue to rise, CDC report reveals
- The overall US fertility rate fell by 2% between 2017 and 2018 to the lowest number in three three decades
- Teen birth rates declined by 7% to 17.4 births per 1,000 women in 2018, another record low
- But premature births rose for the fourth year in a row from 9.93% to 10.02%
Fertility rates have declined in the US for to the lowest number in three decades, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals.
When researchers looked at fertility rates for women of all age groups and races, they found that the rate fell by two percent between 2017 and 2018.
That means about 3.7 million babies were born, the lowest number since 1986.
Preliminary results were released in May that suggested such low rates, but now they’ve been confirmed by the CDC.
The teen birth rate also fell by seven percent to 17.4 births per 1,000 women – the lowest it’s ever been in the US.
However, in a worrying find, the report showed that the percentage of births delivered preterm and early term increased in 2018, while full-term and late-term deliveries declined.
A new CDC report found that fertility rates declined in the US by two percent between 2017 and 2018, and rates were the highest among Hispanic women
The CDC report found that the fertility rate declined among all races, but was highest for Hispanic women at 65.9 births per 1,000 women, followed by black women and then white women.
Dr Kenneth Johnson, a professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire, told DailyMail.com earlier this year that the declining rates are an indicator that fertility rates haven’t recovered since the Great Recession of 2008-09.
‘The question will be whether these numbers are temporarily low. Are these delayed or are they really going to be low forever and never going to return?’ he said.
Teen birth rates fell for all three race groups in 2018, researchers found.
The birth rate for girls between ages 15 and 19 decreased from 18.8 births per 1,000 in 2017 to 17.4 in 2018.
Experts believe this is due to more sexually active teens using birth control and several federal programs that have sprung up focused on reducing teen pregnancy such as Title X Family Planning.
An alarming trend, however, was the rise in premature births from 9.93 percent to 10.02 percent and early-term births from 26 percent to 26.53 percent.
Meanwhile, the percentages of births delivered at full-term births declined from 57.49 percent in 2017 to 57.24 percent in 2018.
Teen birth rates declined by seven percent from 2017 to 17.4 births per 1,000 women in 2018, which is another record low
Pre-term births rose for the fourth year in a row from 9.93 percent in 2017 to 10.02 percent in 2018, with black mothers more likely to give birth prematurely
Black mothers were also about 1.6 times more likely to give birth to preterm babies compare to white and Hispanic mothers.
This is the fourth year in a row that premature births have risen.
While the increase might appear to be negligible, this equates to at least 27,000 more babies born prematurely, Stacey Stewart, president of the nonprofit March of Dimes, told DailyMail.com last year.
Researchers did not find one primary cause of preterm birth, but they say the findings suggest that racial and economic disparities have a negative effect on these rates.
‘There could be multiple drivers, but we believe one is chronic stress and anxiety,’ Stewart said at the time.
‘This is often due to stress of living in a society around racial discrimination that affects women on a daily basis.’