Educational campaigns to prevent pregnancy among teenagers appear to have worked out as the number of teenagers and young women who gave birth in the United States last year dipped to a historic law, a report by researchers from the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows.
The National Vital Statistics Report "Births: Preliminary Data for 2013" which was released on Thursday shows that the birth rate in teens between 15 and 19 years old dropped from 29.4 births per 1,000 women in 2012 to 26.6 in 2013. The 274,641 births of women in this age group last year was 10 percent down from the 305,388 births in 2012 and now holds the record as the lowest number of teen births in the U.S.
The number of births [pdf] in women 15 to 19 years old in 2013 is also 38 percent less than the 444,899 teenage births in 2007 and 57 percent less compared with the 644,708 recorded teenage births in 1970, the all-time peak year for the most number of teenage births.
Birth rate for girls between 10 to 14 years old in 2013 likewise registered a historic low with 3,108 births, which is down by 15 percent from 3,672 births for the year 2012 reducing the prevalence of birth in women 10-14 years old from 0.4 births per 1,000 in 2012 to 0.3 last year, the lowest number of births ever recorded for this age group.
The number of births in women in their early twenties declined to a record low as well with only 902,146 births last year down from 916,811 in 2012. The number of women in their early 30's who gave birth in 2013, however, slightly increased. Birth rate for women 35 to 39 years old also increased by 3 percent and women in their early 40's upped their birth rate by 1 percent.
"Maybe the new norm is having children in your 30s," Rob Stephenson, from the Emory University, told the Associated Press.
John Santelli, a professor of population and family health at the Columbia University said that women increasingly delay starting families because of their desire to pursue their studies and achieve their career goals, which could help explain the growing birth rate in older women and the declining birth rate in the younger ones.
Overall, the number of births in the U.S. slightly increased from 3,952,841 in 2012 to 3,957,577 last year. The fertility rate for women of childbearing age (15 to 44 years old), on the other hand, was 62.9 births per 1,000 women in 2013 down by 1 percent compared with the rate in 2012.