Teen Birth Rates Increase in Over Half of States

For Immediate Release: January 7, 2009

Contact: CDC National Center for Health Statistics Office of Communication (301) 458-4800
E-mail: cdcinfo@cdc.gov

Births: Final Data for 2006. NVSR Volume 57, Number 7. 102 pp.
PDF Version (2.4 MB)

Teen birth rates increased in more than half of states nationwide in 2006, with the rate still highest in the South and Southwest, according to final birth statistics released today by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

The highest teen birth rate was recorded in Mississippi, with 68.4 births per 1,000 teenaged girls aged 15-19. New Mexico and Texas rounded out the top three states, with teen birth rates of 64.1 and 63.1.

Nationally, the U.S. teen rate increased for the first time in 15 years in 2006, from 40.5 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19 in 2005 to 41.9 in 2006. This increase was first documented in a preliminary report released in December 2007.

Today’s report features the first state-by-state data on teen birth rates for 2006, and shows that rates were lowest in the Northeast, with the lowest rates occurring in New Hampshire (18.7), Vermont (20.8), and Massachusetts (21.3). The only states with a decrease in teen birth rates between 2005 and 2006 were North Dakota, Rhode Island, and New York.

The findings are published in “Births: Final Data for 2006,” and the data are from the National Vital Statistics System. The report covers the latest U.S. birth statistics, including state-based and national information on teen, unmarried, and multiple births, as well as health data such as smoking during pregnancy, cesarean deliveries, preterm birth, and low birthweight.

Other highlights:

  • A total of 4,265,555 births were registered in the United States in 2006, a 3 percent increase over 2005. The birth rate was 14.2 live births per 1,000 persons in 2006, also an increase from 2005.
  • The average age of mothers giving birth for the first time decreased from 25.2 in 2005 to 25.0 years in 2006, the first decline in the age since the measure became available. The average age at first birth had increased 3.8 years from 1970 to 2003.
  • The birth rate for unmarried women increased 7 percent between 2005 and 2006, reaching 50.6 births per 1,000 unmarried women aged 15-44 years.
  • Labor was induced for 22.5% of births in 2006, a slight increase from 2005 (22.3%) but double the rate for 1990 (9.5%).
  • The cesarean delivery rate rose 3 percent to 31.1 percent of all births; the cesarean rate has climbed 50 percent since the 1996 low.
  • Women were less likely to receive timely prenatal care in 2006. Prenatal care utilization rose steadily from 1990 to 2003, but remained flat in 2004 and 2005.
  • The low birthweight rate continued to rise, climbing to 8.3 percent in 2006, the highest level in four decades. The preterm birth rate also rose in 2006, to 12.8 percent of all births.
  • The 2006 twin birth rate remained unchanged from 2005, at about 3 twin births per every 100 births. The rate for triplet and higher order multiple births declined 5% from 2005 to 2006 to 15 births per every 1,000 births. The rate soared more than 400 percent between 1980 and 1998, but is down 21 percent since then.
  • In 2006, Wednesday was the most common day to deliver; since 1990, the most common day had been Tuesday. August was the month in which the most births occurred in 2006.