According to preliminary data, there were more than 4.3 million live births in the United States in 2007, an increase of 1 percent from the previous year. The number of births rose in every racial and ethnic group, most noticeably among Asian/Pacific Islander women (6 percent). Overall, the crude birth rate was 14.3 births per 1,000 total population (data not shown). Hispanic women continued to have the highest birth rate in 2007 (102.1 per 1,000 women), followed by non-Hispanic Black women (71.6 per 1,000 women). Non-Hispanic White women had the lowest birth rate (60.1 per 1,000 women).
With regard to age, overall birth rates were highest among mothers aged 25–29 years (117.5 live births per 1,000 women), followed by those aged 20–24 years (106.4 births per 1,000 women). The birth rate for non-Hispanic Whites was highest among 25- to 29-year-olds (108.8 per 1,000), while the rates for non-Hispanic Blacks, Hispanics, and American Indian/Alaska Natives were highest among 20- to 24-year-olds (133.6, 178.5, and 116.3 per 1,000 women, respectively). The birth rate among Asian/Pacific Islanders was highest among 30- to 34-year-olds (125.1 per 1,000 women).
The percentage of births delivered by cesarean has steadily increased since 1996. Among all births in 2006 (the latest year for which data are available), nearly one-third (31.1 percent) were delivered by cesarean, a 50 percent increase since 1996. Additionally, induction of labor increased more than 130 percent since 1990, from 9.6 percent in 1990 to 22.5 percent in 2006. In contrast, rates of vaginal births after a previous cesarean (VBAC) continued to decrease from 2005 to 2006 (from 7.9 to 7.6 percent; data not shown).1
In 2006, 83.2 percent of women received prenatal care during the first trimester of pregnancy, while 3.6 percent of women received care in the third trimester or not at all (data not shown).1
1 In the 34 reporting areas (including New York City and Washington, DC) using the 1989 Standard Certificate of Live Birth (unrevised).↑