Preliminary Birth Data for 2004
For Immediate Release: October 28, 2005
Contact: CDC National Center for Health Statistics Press Office (301) 458-4800
Preliminary Birth Data for 2004. Health E-Stats.
A new report from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics summarizes the 2004 birth data for the United States. Key findings show:
- Number of births up; fertility rate up slightly in 2004. There were 4.1 million births in 2004, nearly 1 percent more than in 2003. The general fertility rate in 2004 was up slightly — 66.3 live births per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years, compared with 66.1 live births per 1,000 women in 2003.
- Childbearing by unmarried women reached a record high of almost 1.5 million births in 2004, up 4 percent from 2003. More than 4 in 5 births to teenagers were among unmarried teens. Over half of births to women in their early twenties and nearly 3 in 10 births to women aged 25-29 years were to unmarried women. The birth rate among unmarried women of all ages increased 3 percent from 2003 to 2004. In 2004, 35.7 percent of all births were to unmarried women.
- Teenage birth rates declined again in 2004, but at a much slower pace than observed since the declines started after 1991. The birth rate in 2004 for females aged 15-19 years reached an all-time low of 41.2 births per 1,000. This was 1 percent lower than in 2003 (41.6), and 33 percent lower than the teenage birth rate of 61.8 per 1,000 in 1991.
- Childbearing by women in their early twenties showed a decline. The birth rate for women aged 20–24 years decreased 1 percent, to 101.8 births per 1,000 women in 2004, the lowest rate ever reported. Women aged 25-29 years had the highest U.S. birth rate of 115.5 per 1,000 births. This rate was essentially unchanged from 2003.
- Births to older women continue to increase. From 2003 to 2004, the birth rate for women aged 30–34 years increased slightly (less than 1 percent) whereas the rate for women aged 35-39 years rose by 4 percent. The birth rate for women 40–44 years increased 3 percent, to 9.0 per 1,000, and the rate for women aged 45–49 years increased in 2004 to 0.6 births per 1,000 women compared with 0.5 in 2003.