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U.S. Teen Birth Rate Drops
Date:4/6/2010

And the number of women delaying motherhood until their 40s grows, CDC report finds,,

TUESDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- After going up in both 2005 and 2006, the number of American teenagers having children dropped 2 percent between 2007 and 2008, federal health officials report.

On the other hand, more women seem to be delaying motherhood until later in life, with a big jump in births for women in their 40s reported, along with declines in the birth rate for women in their 20s and 30s.

According to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, in 2008 there were 41.5 births per 1,000 teenagers aged 15 to 19 years, down from 42.5 in 2007 and 41.9 in 2006.

"In addition, overall births have declined," noted report coauthor Brady E. Hamilton, from the CDC's Division of Vital Statistics. "In 2007 it reached its record number and it's down 2 percent in 2008," he said.

Overall, there were 4,251,095 births in the United States in 2008, down from all-time high of 4,317,119 in 2007.

Hamilton believes recent financial concerns might be playing a role in the drop in births. "The downturn in the economy is associated with the downturn in births," he said.

Coauthor Stephanie J. Ventura, also from the CDC's Division of Vital Statistics, said the increase in teen births in 2005 and 2006 was worrisome, but the 2008 numbers suggest that it "wasn't a trend."

However, the drop in birth rates overall may well become a trend, she added. "For 2009 we have some provisional data and those numbers are down 2 to 3 percent as well -- for everybody," she said.

Added to those statistics is a shift upwards in the age at which American women are now embarking on motherhood. In 2008, birth rates for women aged 20 to 24 dropped 3 percent, fell by 2 percent among women aged 25 to 29, and declined by 1 percent for women in their 30s
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