Preliminary Birth Data for 2012 Released

Posted on by NCHS

NCHS released a new report called Births: Preliminary Data for 2012 that looks at births in the United States. U.S. data on births are shown by age, live-birth order, race, and Hispanic origin of mother. Data on marital status, cesarean delivery, preterm births, and low birthweight are also presented. Key Findings from the Report:

  • The preliminary number of births for the United States in 2012 was 3,952,937, essentially unchanged (not statistically significant) from 2011; the general fertility rate was 63.0 births per 1,000 women age 15-44 years, down only slightly from 2011, after declining nearly 3 percent a year from 2007 through 2010.
  • The number of births and fertility rate either declined or were unchanged for most race and Hispanic origin groups from 2011 to 2012; however, both the number of births and the fertility rate for Asian or Pacific Islander women rose in 2012 (7 percent and 4 percent, respectively).
  • The birth rate for teenagers 15-19 years was down 6 percent in 2012 (29.4 births per 1,000 teenagers 15-19 years), yet another historic low for the nation, with rates declining for younger and older teenagers and for nearly all race and Hispanic origin groups.
  • The birth rate for women in their early twenties also declined in 2012, to a new record low of 83.1 births per 1,000 women. • Birth rates for women in their thirties rose in 2012, as did the birth rate for women in their early forties. • The birth rate for women in their late forties was unchanged.
  • The nonmarital birth rate declined in 2012 (to 45.3 birth per 1,000 unmarried women aged 15-44), whereas the number of births to unmarried women rose 1 percent and the percentage of births to unmarried women was unchanged (at 40.7 percent). • The cesarean delivery rate for the United States was unchanged in 2012 at 32.8 percent.
  • The preterm birth rate fell for the sixth straight year in 2012 to 11.54 percent.
  • The low birthweight rate also declined in 2012, to 7.99 percent.
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Page last reviewed: September 6, 2013
Page last updated: September 6, 2013