US births hit 35-year low

In 2019, there were 3.79 million births in the U.S., the lowest number of births since 1985, according to new CDC data.

Researchers analyzed data from all birth records received and processed by National Center for Health Statistics for the calendar year 2019.

Eight study findings:

1. The number of U.S. births in 2019 was down 1 percent from the number in 2018 and the fifth year that the number has declined after an increase in 2014.

2. The total fertility rate was 1,705.0 births per 1,000 women in 2019, a 1-percent drop from 2018.

3. The general fertility rate was 58.2 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 years, down 2 percent from 2018 — another record low for the country.

4. Birth rates declined for nearly all age groups of women under 35 but rose for women in their early 40s.

5. The birth rate for women aged 40 to 44 years in 2019 was 12 births per 1,000 women, up 2 percent from 2018.

6. The birth rate for teenagers, between the ages of 15 and 19 years, was 16.6 births per 1,000 females in 2019, down 5 percent from 17.4 births per 1,000 females in 2018.

7. The cesarean delivery rate decreased to 31.7 percent in 2019, from 31.9 percent in 2018.

8. The preterm birth rate rose to 10.23 percent in 2019 from 10.02 percent in 2018. This is the fifth year in a row that the preterm birth rate has increased.

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