U.S. Birth Rate Declined 4 Percent from 2007 to 2009

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After peaking at 4,316,233 births in 2007, the birth rate in the United States fell 4 percent by 2009, and a provisional count in 2010 indicates the number is continuing to decline, according to a March data brief released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

THURSDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- After peaking at 4,316,233 births in 2007, the birth rate in the United States fell 4 percent by 2009, and a provisional count in 2010 indicates the number is continuing to decline, according to a March data brief released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

The report analyzes the decline in birth rates from 2007 through 2009 based on maternal age, race, ethnicity, birth order, and state, using birth data from the National Vital Statistics System.

Among the findings: fertility rates for women aged 15 to 44 fell from 2007 to 2009 in most states and almost every major population subgroup, and birth rates declined for all women younger than 40. According to the report, the overall birth rate fell 4 percent in the time period. The sharpest decline in fertility rates was seen in Hispanic women, and the greatest declines occurred in western and southeastern states. In addition, birth rates by live-birth order also decreased, with the largest declines seen for third-order births and smaller ones for second- and first-order births.

"Birth rates declined for all women under age 40 with some of the largest decreases for women in their peak childbearing years," the authors write.

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