Objectives-This report presents 2015 data on U.S. births according to a wide variety of characteristics. Data are presented for maternal age, live-birth order, race and Hispanic origin, marital status, attendant at birth, method of delivery, period of gestation, birthweight, and plurality. Selected data by mother's state of residence and birth rates by age and race of father also are shown. Trends in fertility patterns and maternal and infant characteristics are described and interpreted. Methods-Descriptive tabulations of data reported on the birth certificates of the 3.98 million births that occurred in 2015 are presented. Results-In 2015, 3,978,497 births were registered in the United States, down less than 1% from 2014. The general fertility rate was 62.5 per 1,000 women aged 15-44, a decline of 1% from 2014. The birth rate for teenagers aged 15-19 fell 8% in 2015, to 22.3 per 1,000 females. Birth rates declined for women in their 20s but increased for women in their 30s and early 40s. The total fertility rate (estimated number of births over a woman's lifetime) declined to 1,843.5 births per 1,000 women in 2015. The birth rate for unmarried women declined for the seventh straight year to 43.5 per 1,000. The cesarean delivery rate declined for the third year in a row to 32.0%. The preterm birth rate increased slightly from 2014, to 9.63% in 2015, as did the rate of low birthweight (8.07% in 2015). The twin birth rate declined to 33.5 per 1,000; the triplet and higher-order multiple birth rate was down 9% to 103.6 per 100,000.
Keywords: birth certificate • maternal and infant health • birth rates • maternal characteristics..
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