According to the annual report from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the birth rate in the United States has remained at an all-time low in 2013. Part of the reason for this is because a significant decrease in the amount of teenage pregnancy.
The study shows that only 3.9 million births happened in the United States in 2013, which is down about 1 percent from 2012. Although the report was released in January, it has been published in the May edition of Pediatrics. The fertility rate has also declined by 1 percent to 62.5 births per 1,000 women from ages 15 to 44, which is also a record low in the United States. Experts are predicting that the birth rate will start to increase though as the economy gets better, and by 2017 there should be a good comeback in terms of the birth rate. 2014 is really the first year where the economy started to show significant signs of coming back, so it will take a year or two for those numbers to start climbing back up.
The average age of motherhood is also increasing, with it being age 26 in 2013, which is up a little from 25.8 in 2012. Part of this was due to people getting out of college and having a hard time finding work, which means that these women are delaying starting a family until they get their career in order first. Since it is taking a lot longer for college graduates to find work, we are seeing a small delay in the age that women are first choosing to get pregnant. Women in their 30s and late 40s saw birth rates climb in 2013, as the birth rates for women in their 20s decreased. The birth rates for women who were in their early 40s though stayed about the same. Teen birth rates were also really low, with only 26.5 births per every 1,000 teenagers between age 15 to 19, and there was an overall drop of 10 percent from 2012.
While some teenagers might see the economy as a factor, it is likely due more to television shows like “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” on MTV, which highlight the downside of being a teen mom. There have also been a lot more public campaigns that have tried to reach out to the teenagers to give them options in terms of birth control and condoms.
One thing that researchers found a little questionable though, was that twin birth rates went up to 33.7 per every 1,000 total births, which is up 2 percent from 2012. The multiple birth rates and triplet rates went down about 4 percent in 2013, which is a good sign. The twin birth rates need to be decreasing too, but a lot of this has to do with fertility treatments. A lot of parents going through fertility treatments want twins, since they are spending thousands of dollars on the treatments anyways.
Some of the other highlights from this report was that the preterm birth rate declined to 11.39 percent, which is any birth before 37 weeks. The preterm birth rate has been decreasing since 2006, and this has also meant late-preterm deliveries have dropped too. The cesarean delivery rate declined to 32.7 percent, which is a .1 percent drop from 2012. The birth rate for women who were not married also dropped down to 44.3 percent per every 1,000 unmarried women between 15 and 44 years of age. This is a 1 percent drop from 2013. Almost all of this data is good for women because it shows more women are involving themselves in the family planning process, and are realizing that it is not a bad thing to wait a while to have children. Whether it is because of the economy or other factors, this news really is showing that women are finally realizing that there is more to life than being a mom, especially women who want to join the workforce and start a good career.