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Highlights of a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)

Advance Report of Final Natality Statistics, 1992



Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 43, No. 5, Supplement


For Release October 25, 1994

Birth rates for teenagers 15-17 years declined in 1992 for the first time since 1986, according to the latest natality figures from the National Center for Health Statistics. The Advance Report of Final Natality Statistics, 1992 contains maternal and infant health information from the birth certificate, including the following.


Data highlights

  • Birth rates for older teenagers 18-19 years increased in 1992, but was much less than the increases between 1986 and 1991.
  • Although a record number of babies were born to women over 30 years of age in 1992, the major increases in birth rates for women in their thirties measured since the mid-to-late 1970's appears to have stopped.
  • Births to unmarried mothers hit record levels again in 1992 (30 percent of all births), but the increase from 1991 was the smallest since 1983.
  • More than three out of four mothers (78 percent) began prenatal care in the critical first trimester of pregnancy, the highest level ever reported.
  • Cigarette smoking by pregnant women declined in 1992 for the third straight year to 17 percent.
  • The incidence of low birthweight (less than 2,500 grams) remained at 7.1 percent in 1992, the highest level reported since 1978.


For more information, please contact NCHS, Office of Public Affairs (301) 458-4800, or via e-mail at

Advance Report of Final Natality Statistics, 1992. Vol. 43, No. 5, supplement. 88 pp. (PHS) 95-1120 [PDF - 828 KB]




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