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For Immediate Release: March 18, 2009
Contact: CDC National Center for Health Statistics
Office of Communication, (301) 458-4800



Teen Birth Rates Up Slightly in 2007 for Second Consecutive Year

The birth rate for U.S. teens aged 15 to 19 increased by about 1 percent in 2007, from 41.9 births per 1,000 in 2006 to 42.5 in 2007, according to a report Printable PDF released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is the second year in a row that teen births have gone up. They increased 3 percent in 2006 following a 14-year decline.

Birth rates also increased for women in their 20s, 30s and early 40s, but remained unchanged for younger teens and pre-teens aged 10-14. Only Hispanic teens noted a decline in the birth rate, which fell 2 percent in 2007 to 81.7 births per 1,000.

Unmarried childbearing increased to historic levels in 2007 for women aged 15-44. An estimated 1.7 million babies were born to unmarried women in 2007, accounting for 39.7 percent of all births in the United States – an increase of 4 percent from 2006. Unmarried childbearing has increased 26 percent since 2002 when the recent steep increases began.

The report, “Births: Preliminary Data for 2007,” Printable PDF from CDC′s National Center for Health Statistics is based on an analysis of nearly 99 percent of birth records reported by 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories as part of the National Vital Statistics System.

Other findings:

  • Total U.S. births rose in 2007 to over 4, 317,119, the highest number of births ever registered in the United States.
  • The cesarean delivery rate rose 2 percent in 2007, to 31.8 percent, marking the 11th consecutive year of increase and another record high for the United States.
  • The percentage of low birthweight babies declined slightly between 2006 and 2007, from 8.3 percent to 8.2 percent. This is the first decline in the percentage of low birthweight babies since 1984.
  • The preterm birth rate (infants delivered at less than 37 weeks of pregnancy) decreased 1 percent in 2007 to 12.7 percent. The decline was seen mostly among infants born late preterm (between 34 and 36 weeks).

The full report and a separate report with state births data are available at www.cdc.gov/nchs.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

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