US/World

US Birth Rates Are On The Rise, According To New CDC Data; And Utah's In The Lead

The Birth Rate In The US Has Increased, According To The CDC
The newest numbers reveal the state leader of births in the U.S., along with a decrease in teen births. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

The newest child birth rate numbers have just been released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the report indicates that there were 4,736 more births in 2013 than there were the year before, which shows an increase that America hasn’t seen in five years.

Although there were thousands of more babies born this past year, the lead researcher, Brady Hamilton from the CDC told the Associated Press that the increase is, “very, very, very slight.”

Last year, the total number of births recorded in the U.S. fell just under four-million — 3,957,577. From 2007 through 2010, the number of births was declining steadily in the United States. Then from 2010 to 2012, the rate of decline began to slow down, and now the country is in a slight upswing, which may continue to increase and bring the country to a slight rise over the next few years.

The birth rate for teenagers, which has always been a cause for concern, is now at a historical low for the U.S. In 2013, there were 26.6 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 19; a 10 percent decrease from the 29.4 percent recorded in 2012.

The all-time high for teen births in the U.S. was in 1957, when there were 96.3 teen births per every 1,000 women, according to the Pew Research Center. It was in the midst of the “Baby Boom,” which was the dramatic rise in births following right after troops returned home at the end of World War II. A Pew Research analysis, which is a nonpartisan American fact tank aimed at informing the public on trends throughout the world, found that there is a solid link between declining birth rate and an unstable economy.

Pregnancy prevention programs, education, and an increase of resources for teenage girls may have also played a role in the decline. Researchers from the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization, believe that a large reason for the decrease in teen births has to do with the MTV reality franchise, 16 and Pregnant because of its deterrent nature.

The show follows the lives of pregnant teenagers during the last few weeks of their pregnancy into the early days of their new motherhood, which accurately portrays teens facing real-life struggles. Even though the rate is going down, about three out of every 10 girls in the U.S. will give birth before the age 20, which is twice the rate of Canada or Britain. Experts are still excited about the decline.

“Everybody’s wondering why, but everybody’s really excited about that,” John Santelli, a Columbia University professor of population and family health told the AP.

An area’s culture may place a significant influence on both those who plan for their pregnancies and others who do not. The majority of residents living in Utah, for example, are Mormon and their church believes “that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.” According to Brigham Young University's research on Mormons, the church has viewed increasing its membership as one of its primary missionary works, and it has been successful in its dramatic growth of current 4.27 million members.

When adjusted for population, Utah came in first in 2013 with a rate of 17.6 births per 1,000 people, which is comparatively high considering the national rate was 12.5. In raw numbers, California, Texas, New York, and Florida were the states that had given birth to the largest quantity of babies because of the sheer size of their population.

Alaska follows in second place with the highest fixed birth rate of 15.5 births per 1,000 people, while Vermont and New Hampshire hold the lowest rate of 9.5 and 9.4 per 1,000 people, respectively.

Loading...