The number of births in the United States dropped about 1% in 2013, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The national birth rate is very near an all-time low, with the lowering rate mostly due to a large drop in births to teen mothers.
In 2013, there were a total of 3,932,181 babies born. In addition to the drop in births, the general fertility rate also went down by about 1%, to 62.5 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44. This is another record low. Another area where there was a 1% drop from 2012 to 2013 was in the number of unmarried mothers.
The birth rate for teens went down significantly-10%-in 2013 from 2012. The overall rate was 26.5 births per 1,000 teen girls aged 15 to 18. The report called this a historic low. The reduction in teen births was seen in all races and in Hispanic groups.
Birth rates for women in their twenties also went down, while birth rates for women in their thirties and late forties rose from 2012. The average age for a first time mother went from 25.8 years old to 26 years old.
Some of the drop in the overall birth rate is due to the continued effect of the recession during 2013, said Dr. Aaron Caughey, chair of obstetrics and gynecology for Oregon Health and Science University in Portland in an interview with Healthday.com. He expects to see a rise in the birth rate in 2012. "While the economy is doing better, you're still going to see a lag effect of about a year, and 2014 is the first year our economy really started to feel like it's getting back to normal."
The report comes from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, which periodically issues the National Vital Statistics Report. The final report on 2013 births and birth trends was published in the journal Pediatrics. You can read the CDC's report at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_01.pdf.