Teen Birth Rates Up Again in 2007

For Immediate Release: March 18, 2009

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

Births: Preliminary Data for 2007. NVSR 57, Number 12. 23 pp.
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New birth statistics released today by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reveal that the U.S. teen birth rate increased slightly in 2007 for the second straight year.

The findings are published in a new report, “Births: Preliminary Data for 2007,” based on analysis of nearly 99% of birth records reported to 50 states and the District of Columbia as part of the National Vital Statistics System.

The report shows that the birth rate for teens increased 1 percent between 2006 and 2007, from 41.9 births per 1,000 females aged 15-19 years in 2006 to 42.5 in 2007. Birth rates remained unchanged for younger females, aged 10-14 years, but increased for women in their twenties, thirties, and early forties.

The report also found:

  • Nonmarital births increased to historic levels in 2007, as the total number of births, birth rate, and proportion of births to unmarried women all increased between 3 and 5 percent from 2006 and 2007. An estimated 1,714,643 babies were born to unmarried women in 2007, accounting for 39.7 percent of all births in the United States.
  • The percentage of low birthweight babies (born weighing less than 2,500 grams) declined slightly between 2006 and 2007, from 8.3% to 8.2%. Low birthweight rates had risen steadily over the past couple of decades — this is the first decline since 1984.
  • The total number of births rose in 2007 to 4,317,119, the highest number of births ever registered in the United States.
  • The U.S. fertility rate increased 1 percent in 2007, to 69.5 births per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years, the highest level since 1990.
  • The cesarean delivery rate rose 2 percent in 2007, to 31.8 percent, marking the 11th consecutive year of increase and another record high for the United States.
  • The preterm birth rate (infants delivered at less than 37 weeks of pregnancy) decreased 1 percent in 2007 to 12.7 percent, with the decline occurring predominately among infants born late preterm (at 34 to 36 weeks). The preterm rate had been increasing by more than a third since the early 1980’s.

State-level data on selected measures in the report are available separately on the CDC/NCHS website.


Page last reviewed: June 11, 2009