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NCHS Health E-Stat
Recent Trends in Births and Fertility Rates Through December 2012
by Brady E. Hamilton, Ph.D., and Paul D. Sutton, Ph.D., Division of Vital Statistics
PDF Version (73 KB)
The provisional count of births in the United States for the 12-month period ending December 2012 was 3,958,000, essentially unchanged from the 3,953,593 births (preliminary total) for 2011 (1). The trend in the number of births was down, having declined steadily from the historic high of 4,316,233 in 2007 through 2011 but slowing from 2010 to 2011, and is essentially flat from 2011 to 2012 (Figure) (2,3).
The provisional fertility rate in the United States for 2012 was 63.2 births per 1,000 women aged 15–44, unchanged from the rate in 2011 (Figure) (1,2). Like the number of births, the trend in the fertility rate was down, having declined steadily from the recent high of 69.3 in 2007 through 2010 but slowing from 2010 to 2011, and is unchanged from 2011 to 2012 (Figure) (2,3).
Provisional counts of births for 2012 are based on a combination of counts of events provided by each reporting area, and registered vital events processed into National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data files for the 12 months ending with the specified month (i.e., December 2012). For further information about the provisional counts, see “Births, Marriages, Divorces, and Deaths: Provisional Data for 2009” (4). Preliminary birth data for 2011 are based on approximately 100% of 2011 births. Records of the few states with less than 100% of records are weighted to independent control counts of all births received in state vital statistics offices in 2011 (2). Final birth data for 2010 and earlier years are based on complete files of 100% of the births registered in state vital statistics offices and reported to NCHS (3).
- National Center for Health Statistics. Provisional monthly and 12-month ending number of live births, deaths, and infant deaths and rates: United States, January 2011–December 2012.
- Hamilton BE, Martin JA, Ventura SJ. Births: Preliminary data for 2011. National vital statistics reports; vol 61 no 5. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2012.
- Martin JA, Hamilton BE, Ventura SJ, et al. Births: Final data for 2010. National vital statistics reports; vol 61 no 1. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2012.
- Tejada-Vera B, Sutton PD. Births, marriages, divorces, and deaths: Provisional data for 2009. National vital statistics reports; vol 58 no 25. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2010.
Figure. Births and fertility rates: United States, final 2005–2010, preliminary 2011, and provisional 2012
NOTE: The 2012 number of births and fertility rate are based on 12 months of provisional counts ending with December 2012.
SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, National Vital Statistics System.