Births up for 1st time since 2014: CDC

The number of births in the United States increased by 1 percent from 2020 to 2021, marking the first increase to the number in seven years, according to provisional data published by the CDC

Based on birth records processed, 3,659,289 babies were born in 2021. This is the first increase in the number of births since 2014 — the number of births declined by an average of 2 percent per year from 2014 to 2020. 

Birth rates plateaued among adolescents ages 10 to 14, declined among ages 15 to 24 and rose among ages 25 to 49. The overall cesarean delivery rate ticked upward in 2021 to 32.1 percent, up from 31.8 percent in 2020, marking the second increase in a row after the rate generally declined from 2009 to 2019.

The preterm birth rate rose 4 percent in 2021 to 10.48 percent, up from 10.09 percent in 2020. The 2021 rate of births at less than 37 completed weeks of gestation is the highest reported since at least 2007, according to the CDC. 

The provisional data also shows the fertility rate in the U.S., or the number of live births per 1,000 women between the ages 15 and 44, was 56.6. This is up from 56 in 2020 and the first increase since 2014.


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