Photographer: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Number of U.S. Births Fell to a 30-Year Low Last Year

Number of U.S. Births Fell to a 30-Year Low Last Year

  • Fertility rate was 60.2 births per 1,000 women, a record low
  • The number of births for women aged 35 and older rose
Photographer: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The number of births in the U.S. declined for the third year in a row in 2017 to 3,853,472, the lowest level since 1987, the National Center for Health Statistics reported Thursday.

Births were down 2 percent, or 92,403, from 2016. The birth rate for women aged 15 to 39 declined from 2016 to 2017 but rose in that same time period for those aged 40 to 44.

Age20172016Change in No. Births 2016-2017
Number of BirthsRateNumber of BirthsRate
All ages3,853,47260.23,945,87562.0-92,403

Teenage birth rates fell 7 percent from 2016 to a record low for this age group. The rate has declined by nearly 8 percent per year over the last decade. Fewer than 200,000 children are now born to women aged 15 to 19, down 56 percent from 444,899 such births in 2007. Fewer than 2,000 births were to mothers aged 10 to 14.

Almost a third of U.S. births are by cesarean delivery. By state, the portion of cesarean deliveries ranged from a high of 37.8 percent in Mississippi to a low of 22.5 percent in Alaska.

Fewer than 10,000 kids were born in Vermont, Wyoming and the District of Columbia, respectively, last year. The states with the most numerous births were California with 471,552 and Texas at 381,978.

The majority, 56.2 percent, of births in New Mexico were to mothers of Hispanic origin. Texas ranked second for highest proportion of Hispanic-mother-births at 47.2 percent, edging out California at 46.7 percent. Less than five percent of births in Maine, West Virginia, Vermont, Mississippi and Montana were to Hispanic mothers.