Objectives: This report presents preliminary data for 2005 on 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 (LBW) are also presented.
Methods: Data in this report are based on 99.2 percent of births for 2005. The records are weighted to independent control counts of all births received in state vital statistics offices in 2005. Comparisons are made with 2004 data.
Results: The crude birth rate in 2005 was 14.0 births per 1,000 total population, unchanged from 2004. The general fertility rate, however, rose to 66.7 births per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years in 2005, the highest level since 1993. The birth rate for teenagers declined by 2 percent in 2005, falling to 40.4 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19 years, the lowest ever recorded in the 65 years for which a consistent series of rates are available. The rate declined for teenagers 15-17 years to 21.4 births per 1,000, but was essentially stable for older teenagers 18-19 years. The birth rate for women aged 20-24 years rose in 2005, whereas the rate for women aged 25-29 years was essentially unchanged. The birth rates for women aged 30 years and over rose to levels not seen in almost 40 years. Childbearing by unmarried women increased to record levels for the Nation in 2005. The birth rate rose 3 percent to 47.6 births per 1,000 unmarried women aged 15-44 years; the proportion of all births to unmarried women increased to 36.8 percent. The cesarean delivery rate rose by 4 percent in 2005 to 30.2 percent of all births, another record high for the Nation. The preterm birth rate continued to rise (to 12.7 percent in 2005) as did the rate for LBW births (8.2 percent).