CDC: US birth rate hit 30-year low in 2017

CDC: US birth rate hit 30-year low in 2017

CDC: US birth rate hit 30-year low in 2017

Birth rates fell for almost all age groups of women younger than 40 in 2017, sending overall fertility rates to a record low, USA health officials reported Thursday.

One explanation for the decline in births: More women are going to college and may be focusing on their careers and paying off college debt before starting a family, says the Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. birth rate dropped to another record low past year. The CDC's report found the birth rate decreased for women between the ages of 15 and 39, but increased for women aged 40 to 44.

Birth rates declined for almost all age groups of women under 40 years old.

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That's down 2 percent from 2016 and the lowest number recorded since 1978.

"Education and access to contraception are big factors in decreasing teen pregnancies", Wu noted.

Over three-quarters of women continue to receive first trimester prenatal care in 2017, ticking up slightly from 2016 (77.3% versus 77.1%, respectively).

The number of teens giving birth fell 7 percent in 2017, continuing a trend since the early 1990s. But he added that his birthing unit, and others that he's been in contact with, have seen an overall decline in births recently.

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Data based on more than 99 percent of USA birth certificates counted 3.853 million births a year ago, about 92,000 fewer than 2016.

Rates of preterm birth and low birthweight rate also rose for the third year in a row.

There was also a slight rise in C-section deliveries.

This study was led by researchers at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

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