More than 3.9 million births took place in 2012, according to a report, with the total essentially unchanged from 2011.
The general fertility rate was 63 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, down only slightly from 2011 after declining nearly 3% a year from 2007 through 2010, according to the brief from the CDCs National Vital Statistics Reports.
The number of births and the fertility rate either declined or remained stagnant compared with 2011 for most race and Hispanic origin groups, but rose 7% and 4% for Asian women and Pacific Islander women, respectively.
The birth rate for teens ages 15 to 19 dropped 6% from the previous year, to 29.4 births per 1,000 teenagers in that age group. The decrease marked another historic low for the nation, with rates declining for younger and older teenagers and for nearly all race and Hispanic origin groups, wrote authors Brady E. Hamilton, PhD, Joyce A. Martin, MPH, and Stephanie J. Ventura, MA, of the CDCs Division of Vital Statistics.
The birth rate for women in their 20s also declined, to a new record low of 83.1 per 1,000 women, while the rates for women in their 30s and early 40s each rose. The nonmarital birth rate declined, although the total number of births to unmarried women rose by 1%.
The cesarean delivery rate for the United States was unchanged in 2012, at 32.8%, while the preterm birth rate fell for the sixth consecutive year and the low birthweight rate also declined.
Findings are based on 99.6% of registered vital records for 2012.