CDC: Number of US Births Dropped to 30-Year Low in 2017

Clay Curtis
May 17, 2018

California women are waiting longer to have children - or deciding not to have children at all.

Birth rates fell for almost all age groups of women younger than 40 in 2017, sending overall fertility rates to a record low, US health officials reported Thursday.

The researchers found that the provisional number of USA births in 2017 was 3,853,472, which was down 2 percent from 2016 and a 30-year low.

The CDC said the general fertility rate also fell to a record low of 60 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44 - a 3 percent drop.

The state's birth rate fell to 11.9 births per 1,000 residents.

The numbers seem to correspond with what the Census Bureau and others have been predicting for years: that America's population growth will increasingly depend on immigrants, after decades in which the USA enjoyed a relatively high fertility rate when compared to other developed countries.

These are low numbers: births were as high as 4.31 million in 2007, and the total fertility rate was 2.08 kids back then.

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Pre-term babies and low birth weights dropped for the third straight year, and Cesarean deliveries rose slightly. The only group to see birth rates rise was women in their early 40s-the birth rate for teenagers was down a whopping 7%, meaning the teen birthrate is now down 55% from 2007.

However, the birth rate actually went up a bit for women aged 40 to 44, the report found.

Another ob/gyn agreed. "Many of these women are using assisted reproductive technologies to get pregnant", said Dr. James Ducey, who directs obstetrics at Staten Island University Hospital, in New York City.

Birth rates in the United States are now the lowest they have been for three decades.

"The rate has generally been below replacement since 1971", according to the report from CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

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.

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