Posts Tagged ‘ birth rates ’

Good News: Teen Pregnancy Is On the Decline!

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Teenage Pregnancy Birth rates among teenagers have declined dramatically, according to new research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since reaching a peak height in 1957, birth rates have generally fallen in the U.S. since then, including a whopping 57 percent drop from 1991 to 2013. This decrease translates to an estimated 4 million fewer births to teens over the course of those years.

The CDC attributes this decline to a number of factors including a higher likelihood and more frequent use of contraception as well as decreased sexual activity overall among teens.

Bill Albert, chief program officer of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, told CBS News that he believes popular MTV reality shows like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant have actually encouraged teens to avoid pregnancy, rather than glamourizing it.

“Many teens have described these shows as far more sobering than salacious, and they are watched by millions,” he said.

USA Today reports that while the national average for teen birth rates is 29.4 births per every 1,000 girls ages 15-19, birth rates remain well over that average in states in the South and Southwest. New Mexico has the highest teen birth rate with 47.5 births per every 1,000 teen girls.

Think you might be pregnant? Consider one of these 10 at-home pregnancy tests.

Are You Pregnant? How to Know for Sure
Are You Pregnant? How to Know for Sure
Are You Pregnant? How to Know for Sure

Photo of teenage girls courtesy of Shutterstock

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Study: Certain Personality Traits Linked To Having Kids

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

A surprising new study found links between certain personality traits and the likelihood that a person will have children. Researchers used data from Norway, which keeps detailed birth records and related personality test information, Science Daily reports.

The scientists found that “neurotic” men—those who tend to be moody and emotional—are having fewer children, a trend that applied only to men born after 1957. In contrast, men who are open and extroverted are having more kids, and women who show up on personality tests as “conscientious” are having fewer kids, regardless of the year they were born.

Vegard Skirbekk, who led the study, theorizes that personality might play a role in Europe’s declining birthrates.

More from Science Daily:

The study was made possible by Norway’s very detailed birth records and an integrated personality survey, which allowed the researchers to examine the connections between both female and male fertility and personality. “For men, often you don’t know exactly how many children they have because information is not matched in the registries, but for Norway we have very exact information,” says Skirbekk.

While the study only considers Norway, Skirbekk says that the findings likely apply more widely. “Norway is a leader country in terms of family dynamics,” says Skirbekk, “Many trends that have been observed first in Norway—increasing cohabitation, divorce rates, and later marriage, for example—have then been observed later in many other parts of the world. Of course it remains to be seen if this phenomenon will also spread.”

Image: Father and sons, via Shutterstock

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U.S. Birth Rate Hits Record Low

Friday, November 30th, 2012

The rate of American births dropped in 2011 to a record low, hitting 63.2 births per 1,000 women, a new report from the Pew Research Center using statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics. More from LiveScience:

“That’s the lowest since such reliable record collection began in 1920 and close to half the birth rate in 1957, amid the Baby Boom years.

The overall number of births declined 7 percent from 2007 to 2010. During this period, U.S.-born women saw a 5 percent birth-rate decline, while there was a 13 percent drop in births to immigrants. The drop was even more dramatic for Mexican immigrant women, at 23 percent.

Despite the recent dip, foreign-born mothers still give birth to a disproportionate share of the nation’s newborns, a trend that has persisted over the past two decades. The birth rate for immigrant women in 2010 was 87.8 per 1,000 births, compared with 58.9 per 1,000 births for American-born women. And although only 13 percent of the U.S. population was foreign-born in 2010, immigrant births accounted for 23 percent of all newborns that year, according to the Pew Research Center.”

Image: Pregnant woman, via Shutterstock

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U.S. Birth Rate Declines, Possibly Due to Economic Fears

Friday, November 18th, 2011

A federal report released this week showed a decline in birth rates among U.S. women.  Younger women–teenagers and women in their early ’20s–showed the greatest decline, a 9 percent drop among teens alone since 2009.

Experts hypothesize that the drop in birth rates is related to the economic downturn, which has left many families concerned with their ability to provide financially for their futures.  Young women are especially vulnerable to feeling they cannot afford to have a child or add to their families.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt now that it was the recession. It could not be anything else,” Carl Haub, a demographer with the Population Reference Bureau, a Washington, D.C.-based research organization, told The Associated Press.

The report contained other findings, including:

  • The cesarean section rate declined slightly since 2009, coming in at 32.8 percent of all 2010 births.  This follows more than a decade of steady increases in c-section rates.
  • The total fertility rate for U.S. women also declined, with the average number of children a woman is expected to have dipping from 2.1 to 1.9.
  • Hispanic women’s total fertility rate had a sharper decline, dipping from nearly 3 to 2.4.


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March of Dimes: Fewer Premature Babies in the U.S.

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

A new report from the March of Dimes has upgraded the United States to a “C” grade for premature births, an improvement from its previous rating of “D.”  The announcement was made to coincide with November as Prematurity Awareness Month. reports on the new findings:

Each year, the March of Dimes compares each state’s pre-term birth rate with the goal birth rate. The report says 40,000  fewer babies were born prematurely in the U.S. between 2006 and 2009.

“We set a goal of 9.6 % by 2020, and it’s a realistic goal we can get to and it would be a tremendous accomplishment,” says Douglas A. Staples,  senior vice president of strategic marketing and communications for the   March of Dimes. This year the state of Vermont was the only state to achieve that goal. The current nationwide rate is 12.2 percent.

A baby born before 37 weeks is considered premature and at serious health risk.  Being born earlier than 37 weeks is the leading cause of newborn death in the United States, costing more than $26 billion each year, according to the report. While the U.S. ranks first in health care spending, it is 39th in infant mortality, according to a 2006 report.

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