Results: Breastfeeding Rates

National Immunization Survey (NIS)

Breastfeeding Among U.S. Children Born 2009–2016, CDC National Immunization Survey

Percentage of U.S. Children Who Were Breastfed, by Birth Year1,2

1Data from 2009 to 2015 births were based on landline and cellular telephone sampling and data for 2016 births were based on cellular telephone sampling only. See survey methods for details.

2Data from U.S. territories are excluded from national breastfeeding estimates to be consistent with the analytical methods for the establishment of  Healthy People 2020 targetsexternal icon on breastfeeding

3Exclusive breastfeeding is defined as ONLY breast milk — NO solids, water, or other liquids.

Percentage of U.S. Children Who Were Breastfed, by Birth Year, National Immunization Survey, United States (Percentage ± half 95% Confidence Interval)1,2, 3
Percentage of U.S. Children Who Were Breastfed, by Birth Year, National Immunization Survey, United States (Percentage ± half 95% Confidence Interval)1,2, 3
Birth Year
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Ever Breastfed 76.1±1.0 76.7±1.2 79.2±1.2 80.0±1.2 81.1±1.1 82.5±1.1 83.2±1.0 83.8±1.2
At 6 months 46.6±1.2 47.5±1.4 49.4±1.5 51.4±1.5 51.8±1.4 55.3±1.4 57.6±1.4 57.3±1.6
At 12 months 24.6±1.0 25.3±1.3 26.7±1.3 29.2±1.4 30.7±1.3 33.7±1.3 35.9±1.3 36.2±1.5
Exclusively through 3 months 35.9±1.1 37.1±1.4 40.7±1.5 43.3±1.6 44.4±1.4 46.6±1.4 46.9±1.4 47.5±1.6
Exclusively through 6 months 15.6±0.9 17.2±1.2 18.8±1.2 21.9±1.4 22.3±1.1 24.9±1.3 24.9±1.2 25.4±1.3
1Data from 2009 to 2015 births were based on landline and cellular telephone sampling and data for 2016 births were based on cellular telephone sampling only. See survey methods for details.
2Data from U.S. territories are excluded from national breastfeeding estimates to be consistent with the analytical methods for the establishment of Healthy People 2020 targetsexternal icon on breastfeeding
3Exclusive breastfeeding is defined as ONLY breast milk — NO solids, water, or other liquids.
Breastfeeding Rates by State and Socio-demographics
Breastfeeding Rates by State1 and Socio-demographics
“Any” and “Exclusive” Breastfeeding Rates Birth Year
-by States 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009
-by Socio-demographics 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009

1Because of changes in the sampling frame in 2011 and in 2018 (See survey methods for details) and small sample sizes, states should use caution when comparing prevalence estimates from year to year.

Percentage of Breastfed Children Who Were Supplemented with Infant Formula, by Birth Year, National Immunization Survey, United States This chart displays  the percentages of breastfed infants born from 2009 to 2015 who were supplemented with infant formula within the first 2 days, 3 or 6 months of age. From 2009 to 2015, rates for breastfed infants supplemented with infant formula within the first 2 days, 3 or 6 months decreased from 23.3% to 17.2%, from 35.9% to 28.8% or from 43.4% to 34.5%, respectively.

1Data from 2009 to 2015 births were based on landline and cellular telephone sampling and data for 2016 births were based on cellular telephone sampling only. See survey methods for details.

2Data from U.S. territories are excluded from national breastfeeding estimates to be consistent with the analytical methods for the establishment of  Healthy People 2020 targetsexternal icon on breastfeeding

3Formula supplementation is defined as supplementation of breast milk with formula (with or without other supplementary liquids or solids) among infants breastfed before the age specified (2 days, 3 months, or 6 months). See survey methods for details.

Percentage of U.S. Breastfed Infants Who Were Supplemented with Infant Formula, by Birth Year, National Immunization Survey, United States (Percentage +/- half 95% Confidence Interval)
Percentage of U.S. Breastfed Infants Who Were Supplemented with Infant Formula, by Birth Year, National Immunization Survey, United States

(Percentage +/- half 95% Confidence Interval)1,2, 3

Birth Year
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Before 2 days 23.3±1.1 22.8±1.4 19.4±1.3 19.1±1.3 17.1±1.2 15.5±1.0 17.2±1.2 16.9±1.3
Before 3 months 35.9±1.5 35.4±1.8 31.5±1.8 29.3±1.8 29.2±1.6 27.8±1.5 28.8±1.5 29.1±1.7
Before 6 months 43.4±1.7 42.8±2.2 37.9±2.0 35.4±2.1 34.9±1.8 33.8±1.7 34.5±1.7 33.5±1.9

1Data from 2009 to 2015 births were based on landline and cellular telephone sampling and data for 2016 births were based on cellular telephone sampling only. See survey methods for details.
2Data from U.S. territories are excluded from national breastfeeding estimates to be consistent with the analytical methods for the establishment of Healthy People 2020 targetsexternal icon on breastfeeding
3Formula supplementation is defined as supplementation of breast milk with formula (with or without other supplementary liquids or solids) among infants breastfed before the age specified (2 days, 3 months, or 6 months). See survey methods for details.

Rates of Any and Exclusive Breastfeeding by Age Among Children Born in 2016, National Immunization Survey, United States1,2,3

1Data from 2009 to 2015 births were based on landline and cellular telephone sampling and data for 2016 births were based on cellular telephone sampling only. See survey methods for details.

2Data from U.S. territories are excluded from national breastfeeding estimates to be consistent with the analytical methods for the establishment of  Healthy People 2020 targetsexternal icon on breastfeeding

3Exclusive breastfeeding is defined as ONLY breast milk — NO solids, water, or other liquids.

Rates of Any and Exclusive Breastfeeding by Age Among Children Born in 2016 (Percentage +/- half 95% Confidence Interval)
Rates of Any and Exclusive Breastfeeding by Age Among Children Born in 2016
(Percentage +/- half 95% Confidence Interval)1,2, 3
U.S. National Breastfeeding Rates, 2016 Births
Child Age Breastfeeding
(n=17604)
Exclusive Breastfeeding (n=17059)
At birth 83.8±1.2
7 days 82.9±1.2 64.7±1.6
14 days 82.2±1.2 62.8±1.6
21 days 80.9±1.2 60.0±1.6
28 days 80.0±1.2 59.2±1.6
1 month 79.6±1.2 58.8±1.6
2 month 75.2±1.4 53.0±1.6
3 month 71.0±1.4 47.5±1.6
4 month 64.8±1.5 39.8±1.5
5 month 60.1±1.5 31.5±1.4
6 month 57.3±1.6 25.4±1.3
7 month 49.8±1.6
8 month 47.4±1.6
9 month 44.0±1.5
10 month 40.4±1.5
11 month 38.1±1.5
12 month 36.2±1.5
18 month 15.6±1.2

1Data from 2009 to 2015 births were based on landline and cellular telephone sampling and data for 2016 births were based on cellular telephone sampling only. See survey methods for details.

2Data from U.S. territories are excluded from national breastfeeding estimates to be consistent with the analytical methods for the establishment of Healthy People 2020 targetsexternal icon on breastfeeding

3Exclusive breastfeeding is defined as ONLY breast milk — NO solids, water, or other liquids.