Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The U.S. Birth Rate is on the Rise

A record 4.3 million babies were born in the U.S. in 2007, according to a summary of birth statistics published each year in the journal Pediatrics. The birth rate (number of births per 1,000 women) has been climbing for a couple of decades, though it is nowhere near what it was 100 years ago. The record high number of births is due both to a recent trend upward in the birth rate and the larger U.S. population now than 100 years ago.

A noteworthy trend in the data is that women are having their babies later than they did just 15-20 years ago. Birth rates were lower in 2007 than in 1990 for women under 30, but higher in 2007 for women over 30. Also noteworthy is a continued rise in the number of births to unmarried women; it’s now a record 40% of all births.

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