US birth rate continues to fall


The overall birth count and fertility rate in the US declined in 2010.

The overall birth count and fertility rate in the US declined in 2010, continuing a broad-based trend that began in 2007. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the provisional count of births in the US for 2010 was 4.007 million, 3% fewer than the number of births in 2009 and 7% lower than the all-time high of 4.3 million in 2007. The provisional fertility rate for 2010 was 64.7 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, 3% fewer than the 2009 preliminary rate of 66.7 and 7% fewer than the 17-year high of 69.5 in 2007.

Among teens, birth rates have decreased by 37% in the last 2 decades, the CDC reported, although US rates are as much as 9 times higher than those in other developed countries. A recent CDC report found that about 46% of teens have had sexual intercourse, and about 14% of sexually active teen girls and 10% of teen boys do not use any type of birth control. Contraceptive use is lowest among Hispanic/Latinos and non-Hispanic blacks, who also have high rates of teen childbirth. Childbirth rates also are high among socioeconomically disadvantaged youth of all races and ethnicities. Non-Hispanic black and Hispanic teens are about 2 to 3 times more likely than white teens to give birth. The most effective forms of birth control for sexually active teenage girls are birth control pills, hormone shots, or an intrauterine device, the report found.

Sutton PD, Hamilton BE; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recent trends in births and fertility rates through 2010. June 2011. Accessed August 12, 2011.

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