STATCAST - Week of May 13, 2019

NCHS Releases 2018 Provisional Birth Report


The latest birth statistics in the United States were released this week in a new provisional vital statistics reportpdf icon from NCHS. Based on nearly 100% of birth certificates issued nationwide in 2018, the provisional number of births in the United States was 3,788,235, which is down 2% from 2017 and the lowest total in 32 years. The general fertility rate, which is the number of births per 1,000 women ages 15-44, hit a new record low of 59.0 in 2018, and the total fertility rate also hit a new record low of 1,728 births per 1,000 women. The total fertility rate estimates the total number of births that a hypothetical group of 1,000 women would have had over their lifetimes, based on the age-specific birth rate of a given year.

The new reportpdf icon also showed that birth rates in 2018 declined for nearly all age groups under age 35, and increased for women in their late 30’s and early 40’s. The birth rate for teens ages 15-19 dropped another 7% in 2018, to a record low of 17.4 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19. Birth rates dropped to record lows for both younger females ages 15-17 and older teens ages 18-19. The cesarean delivery rate declined in 2018, to 31.9%, and the low-risk cesarean delivery rate declined to 25.9%. Low-risk cesareans are cesarean deliveries among first-birth deliveries. The report also shows the preterm birth rate rose for the fourth year in a row in 2018.


Page last reviewed: May 15, 2019