Diseases & conditions : Pregnancy and Childbirth
Consider the most recent statistics available from the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the CDC:
In 2008, 4,247,694 babies were born in the U.S. This was a 2 percent drop from 2007.
The mean age for women having their first baby in 2008 was 25.1 years, compared with 25.2 in 2003.
Birth rates for women 35 to 39 (46.9 births per 1,000 women) and 40 to 44 (9.8 births per 1,000 women). The birth rate for women 40 to 44 is the highest in four decades.
The birth rate for teenagers ages 15 to 19 years increased 5 percent between 2005 and 2007. The year 2008 saw a 2 percent decrease, when compared with 2007. The current rate for this age group is 41.5 per 1,000 births.
In 2008, the twin birth rate was 32.6 twin births per 1,000 women.
The preterm birth rate (less than 37 weeks in the womb) was 12.3 percent in 2008.
Cesarean deliveries accounted for 32.3 percent of all births in 2008. This is the 12th consecutive year in which cesarean deliveries have increased and represents a 56 percent increase since 1996, when cesarean deliveries were at a low of 20.7 percent.