Menu

U.S. Teen Birth Rates Rising

CDC Reports First Rise in Teen Birth Rate Since 1991

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on December 05, 2007
From the WebMD Archives

Dec. 5, 2007 -- The CDC today reported that last year, the U.S. teen birth rate rose for the first time since 1991 -- and that C-sections and births to unmarried women hit record highs in 2006.

Here's a quick look at the rise in teen birth rates:

  • 3% rise for teens ages 15-17 (22 births per 1,000 women)
  • 4% rise for teens ages 18-19 (73 births per 1,000 women)
  • No rise for girls ages 10-14

The rise in teen birth rates is "notable," but it's "way too early to know if this is the start of a new trend," Stephanie Ventura, head of the CDC's Reproductive Statistics Branch, says in a CDC news release.

A total of 4,265,996 babies were born in the U.S. in 2006.

That's a 3% increase from 2005 and the "largest single-year increase in the number of births since 1989 and the largest number of births since 1961," says the CDC.

Births to unmarried women reached a record high of more than 1.6 million babies, a jump of nearly 8% over 2005.

And almost a third of babies born in the U.S. last year -- 31.1% -- were delivered by cesarean section (C-section). That's a new record.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • U.S. birth rates rose for women in their 20s, 30s, and early 40s.
  • Rates of preterm births and low-birth-weight babies rose slightly from 2005 to 2006.