US births hit a 30-year low, despite good economy

US Fertility Just Hit a 30 Year Low. Why That's a Problem for Social Security iStock

THURSDAY, May 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) - The number of U.S. births decreased in 2017, reaching a 30-year low, according to a report published online May 17 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

US women in their teens, 20s and 30s had fewer babies last year than in any year since 1987, the statistical report said. Notably, the provisional birth rate for teenagers fell 7% to another record low (18.8 births per 1,000 women), continuing recent trends.

In a Vital Statistics Rapid Release report, the authors noted declines in both the general and total provisional fertility rates. For almost all age groups of women under 40 years there was a decline in birth rates, while an increase was seen among women in their early 40s.

That's down 2 percent from 2016 and the lowest number recorded since 1978. In this age group, there were 11.6 births per 1,000 women, up 2 percent from 2016. Rates rose for women in their early 40's.

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Over three-quarters of women continue to receive first trimester prenatal care in 2017, ticking up slightly from 2016 (77.3% versus 77.1%, respectively). But he added that his birthing unit, and others that he's been in contact with, have seen an overall decline in births recently. There were more preterm births for the third consecutive year, increasing to close to 10 percent of births in 2017, the CDC reported.

There was also a slight rise in C-section deliveries.

However, pre-term births increased for the third year in a row.

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