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Child Health USA 2013 An illustrated collection of current and historical data, published annually.

Maternal Age

Narrative

Adverse perinatal outcomes, including low birth weight, preterm birth, birth defects, and infant mortality, are generally higher for births to teenagers and women aged 35 and older.1,2 According to preliminary data for 2012, there were 48.3 births per 1,000 women aged 35-39 years, a birth rate higher than those for teens aged 15-19 years (29.4 per 1,000 women), representing a reversal from just one to two decades earlier. However, birth rates were highest among women aged 25–29 years (106.5 births per 1,000 women), followed by those aged 30–34 years (97.3 births per 1,000 women).

In 2012, according to preliminary data, the overall fertility rate among women aged 15-44 years was 63.0 births per 1,000 women—the lowest level ever reported. Only birth rates among women aged 30 years and older are higher now than in 1990, and those for 40- to 44-year-olds increased from 5.5 in 1990 to 10.4 per 1,000 in 2011. Conversely, birth rates among teenagers aged 15-19 years and young women aged 20–24 years reached historic lows in 2012 (29.4 and 83.1 per 1,000 women, respectively).

A general decline in teen birth rates began after 1991, with rates having dropped in half since then. Although recent declines have been greater for teens from minority racial and ethnic groups, disparities persist. Birth rates among Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black teens aged 15-19 years (46.3 and 43.9 per 1,000, respectively) are more than twice that of non-Hispanic White teens (20.5 per 1,000) and over 4 times as high as that of Asian/Pacific Islander teens (9.7 per 1,000).

Birth rates for older women aged 35-39 and 40-44 years were highest among Asian-Pacific Islander women (68.1 and 16.1 per 1,000, respectively) and Hispanic women (51.5 and 13.2 per 1,000, respectively). Reflecting the racial/ethnic differences in age patterns of childbearing, birth rates peaked among 20- to 24-year-olds for non-Hispanic Black and American Indian/Alaska Native women (109.0 and 81.7 births per 1,000, respectively), compared to 25- to 29-year-olds for Hispanics and non-Hispanic Whites (119.6 and 104.4 per 1,000, respectively), and 30- to 34-year-olds for Asian/Pacific Islanders (121.4 per 1,000).

1 Martin JA, Hamilton BE, Ventura SJ, Osterman MJK, and Mathews TJ. Births: Final data for 2011. National vital statistics reports; vol 62 no 1. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2013.

2 Mathews TJ, MacDorman, MF. Infant Mortality Statistics from the 2009 Period Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Set. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 61 no 8. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2013.

Graphs

This image is described in the Data section.

live births by age graph

This image is described in the Data section.

live births by age and race graph

Data

Live Births per 1,000 Women by Age, 1990-2012 (Data are preliminary)
Age Group Rate of Live Births per 1,000 Women Aged 15-19 Years Rate of Live Births per 1,000 Women Aged 20-24 Years Rate of Live Births per 1,000 Women Aged 25-29 Years Rate of Live Births per 1,000 Women Aged 30-34 Years Rate of Live Births per 1,000 Women Aged 35-39 Years Rate of Live Births per 1,000 Women Aged 40-44 Years Rate of Live Births per 1,000 Women Total
Source: Martin, JA, Hamilton BE, Ventura SJ, Osterman, MK, Wilson, EC, Mathews, TJ. Births: Final data for 2010. National vital statistics reports; vol 61 no 1. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2012.
1990 59.9 116.5 120.2 80.8 31.7 5.5 70.9
1991 61.8 115.3 117.2 79.2 31.9 5.5 69.3
1992 60.3 113.7 115.7 79.6 32.3 5.9 68.4
1993 59.0 111.3 113.2 79.9 32.7 6.1 67.0
1994 58.2 109.2 111.0 80.4 33.4 6.4 65.9
1995 56.0 107.5 108.8 81.1 34.0 6.6 64.6
1996 53.5 107.8 108.6 82.1 34.9 6.8 64.1
1997 51.3 107.3 108.3 83.0 35.7 7.1 63.6
1998 50.3 108.4 110.2 85.2 36.9 7.4 64.3
1999 48.8 107.9 111.2 87.1 37.8 7.4 64.4
2000 47.7 109.7 113.5 91.2 39.7 8.0 65.9
2001 45.0 105.6 113.8 91.8 40.5 8.1 65.1
2002 42.6 103.1 114.7 92.6 41.6 8.3 65.0
2003 41.1 102.3 116.7 95.7 43.9 8.7 66.1
2004 40.5 101.5 116.5 96.2 45.5 9.0 66.4
2005 39.7 101.8 116.5 96.7 46.4 9.1 66.7
2006 41.1 105.5 118.0 98.9 47.5 9.4 68.6
2007 41.5 105.4 118.1 100.6 47.6 9.6 69.3
2008 40.2 101.8 115.0 99.4 46.8 9.9 68.1
2009 37.9 96.2 111.5 97.5 46.1 10.0 66.2
2010 34.2 90.0 108.3 96.5 45.9 10.2 64.1
2011 31.3 85.3 107.2 96.5 47.2 10.3 63.2
2012 29.4 83.1 106.5 97.3 48.3 10.4 63.0
Live Births per 1,000 Women, by Age and Race/Ethnicity, 2012 (Data are preliminary)
Race/Ethnicity Rate of Live Births per 1,000 Women Aged 15-19 Years Rate of Live Births per 1,000 Women Aged 20-24 Years Rate of Live Births per 1,000 Women Aged 25-29 Years Rate of Live Births per 1,000 Women Aged 30-34 Years Rate of Live Births per 1,000 Women Aged 35-39 Years Rate of Live Births per 1,000 Women Aged 40-44 Years Rate of Live Births per 1,000 Women Total
Source: Hamilton BE, Martin JA, Ventura SJ. Births: Preliminary data for 2012. National vital statistics reports; Vol 62 no 3. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2013.
Non-Hispanic White 20.5 70.2 104.4 100.5 46.8 9.1 58.7
Non-Hispanic Black 43.9 109.0 101.7 75.1 38.9 9.6 65.0
Hispanic 46.3 111.4 119.6 94.3 51.5 13.2 74.4
American Indian/Alaska Native (Includes Hispanic) 34.9 81.7 73.9 49.7 23.3 5.5 47.0
Asian Pacific Islander (Includes Hispanics. Separate data for Asians and Other Pacific Islanders are not available.) 9.7 41.4 95.8 121.4 68.1 16.1 62.2
Total 29.4 83.1 106.5 97.3 48.3 10.4 63.0