In 2011, the Unisted States birth rate hias an all time low. The preliminary figure for births in 2011 was 3,953,593, 1% less than in 2010, and 45,793 fewer babies.
The figures were released by federal Centers for Diseae Control and Prevention. The general fertility rate in the U.S. also fell to the lowest rate ever at 63.3 per 1,000 among women aged 15 to 44 years.
Rates differed among different age groups. Among women between 15 to 19 years old there was a considerable decline from 34.2 to 31.3. In the 20 to 24 year old age group the decline was from 90.0 to 85.3. Among those 25 to 29 there was a smaller decline from 108.3 to 107.2. The rate for those 30-34 held steady at 96.5.
Among older women the rates actually increased. No doubt women are putting off having their families until later in life. Women from 35-39 years old saw their rate go from 45.9 to 47.2. Among those even older, at 40 to 44 years old, the rate also rose slightly from 10.2 to 10.3. The actual number of births declined for most race and Hispanic origin groups, and the birth rate declined for Hispanic, non-Hispanic black and AIAN (American Indian and Alaskan Natives) women.
The percentage of babies born to unwed mothers was 40.7 per cent. This was a slight drop from last year when the percentage was 40.8. The data show an increase in the number of unmarried older women having babies. However, the highest percentage of babies born to unmarried mothers is among teens. In the age group 35 to 39, 21.1% of babies were delivered by unwed mothers in 2011, up from 19.6% in 2010. In the older over 40 group of women, 22.4% were to unmarried moms, up from 21.7 in 2010.
The caesarian delivery rate was unchanged from 2010 at 32.8%. The preterm birth rate fell for the fifth year in a row to 11.72%
The total fertility rate(TFR) is an estimate of the number of babies that 1,000 women would bear over their lifeitime and is based upon the age specific birth rates in any given year. The TFR for the U.S. in 2011 was below replacement. The replacement level is 2,100 births fro 1,000 women whereas for the U.S.in 2011 it was 1,894.5 births per 1,000 women. The U.S. had been below replacement values from 1972 right through 2005. In 2006 and 2007 the rate was above replacement but has been below again since 2008. The rate has declined now for four straight years.