Objectives-This report presents preliminary data for 2012 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 are also presented. Methods-Data in this report are based on 99.96% of 2012 births.Records for the few states with less than 100% of records received are weighted to independent control counts of all births received in state vital statistics offices in 2012. Comparisons are made with final 2011 data. Results-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 aged 15-44, down only slightly from 2011, after declining nearly 3% 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% and 4%, respectively). The birth rate for teenagers aged 15-19 was down 6% in 2012 (29.4 births per 1,000 teenagers aged 15-19), yet another historic low for the United States, 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 20s also declined in 2012, to a new record low of 83.1 births per 1,000 women. Birth rates for women in their 30s rose in 2012, as did the birth rate for women in their early 40s. The birth rate for women in their late 40s 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% and the percentage of births to unmarried women was unchanged (at 40.7%). The cesarean delivery rate for the United States was unchanged in 2012 at 32.8%. The preterm birth rate fell for the sixth straight year in 2012 to 11.54%. The low birthweight rate also declined in 2012, to 7.99%.
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