Lowest US Birth Rate in 30 Years, Teen Pregnancies at Record Low


A report from the Centers for Disease Control shows 2017 birth rates in the United States have dropped to their lowest point in 30 years. 

The report says 3,853,472 babies were born in the U.S. in 2017. 

That’s the fewest since 1978.     

The CDC says the reproductive age for women is generally defined as ages 15 to 44. 

Every age group is seeing a decline – except for those over 40. 

During a busy day delivering babies at CoxHealth, Dr. Staci Niemoth, Medical Director for Women’s Health, took some time to talk about concerns with our nations lowest birth rate in 30 years. 

“The concern with this is, we are not having babies fast enough to keep up with our current aging population,” Niemoth says.  

Niemoth is referring to our nations fertility rate, which is the number of births per 1,000 women of reproductive age. 

In the US, replacing our population would require about 2,100 births for every 1,000 women. 

Right now, the CDC says that number is around 1,700. 

Niemoth discusses a few things that might effect those rates. 

“Economy is one of them, in response to depression, recession. Political climate can play into that, with changing administrations, changing laws. Insurance climate certainly is a big factor for women,” Niemoth explains.  

Women over 40 are the only age that saw an increase in births, while teenagers sit around 19 births for every 1,000 teens — a number that has never been lower.

In this day and age, it’s common for people to blame millennials for certain things, and this might be another. 

“Millennials as a group marry later, have pregnancies later, they have different priorities, different values when it comes to having a raising a family,” Niemoth says. “But also with education and accessibility, certain other insurance changes, women have had more access to contraceptive methods.” 

Niemoth says at CoxHealth, they have not mirrored this national trend. 

She says at their hospitals from 2013 to 2017, they have seen a gradual increase in birth rate. 

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