US Fertility Rates Hit Record Lows... Again

US Fertility Rates Hit Record Lows... Again

US Fertility Rates Hit Record Lows... Again

The birth rate for almost every group of women in the United States fell to a 30-year low in 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

One explanation for the decline in births: More women are going to college and may be focusing on their careers and paying off college debt before starting a family, says the Wall Street Journal. The total fertility rate was down 3% to 1,764.5 births per 1,000 women - which the authors noted was the lowest total fertility rate since 1978.

The report showed women in their early 40s were the only group with a higher birth rate past year, up 2 percent.

The low birthweight rate (LBW) also increased in 2017 for the third straight year to 8.27 percent, from 8.17 percent in 2016.

Over three-quarters of women continue to receive first trimester prenatal care in 2017, ticking up slightly from 2016 (77.3% versus 77.1%, respectively).


The report showed teen pregnancy rates are also on the decline. In this age group, there were 11.6 births per 1,000 women, up 2 percent from 2016.

Teen birth rates also fell 7 percent in 2017 among teens aged 15 to 19, the CDC said.

While the number of births nudged up in 2014, it's fallen for three consecutive years.

Researchers also found the rate of low birth weight hit 8.3 percent a year ago - one of the highest levels in more than a decade. On the higher end of the spectrum, provisional birth rates for women ages 45 to 49 remained unchanged, as well.

The CDC report was released online May 17 in a National Vital Statistics System Rapid Release.

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