From 2017 to 2018, there were decreases in the U.S. general fertility rate and the teen birth rate, according to a July data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.
Joyce A. Martin, M.P.H., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues examined general fertility rates (number of births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 years) and teen birth rates using data from the National Vital Statistics System.
The researchers noted a 2 percent decrease in the U.S. general fertility rate from 2017 to 2018, with declines seen for non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic women. From 2017 to 2018, there was a 7 percent decrease in the teen birth rate to 17.4 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19 years; decreases were seen for each race and Hispanic-origin group. In 2018, there was an increase in the percentage of vaginal births after previous cesarean section to 13.3 percent; increases were seen for the three race and Hispanic-origin groups. From 2017 to 2018, there was an increase in the percentages of births delivered preterm and early term, while decreases were seen in full-term, late-term, and postterm deliveries; consistent patterns were seen across race and Hispanic-origin groups.
“Preterm and early-term deliveries continued to rise in 2018 and have been trending upward since 2014,” the authors write.