Births : final data for 2012
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      Objectives—This report presents 2012 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. Birth and fertility rates are presented by age, live-birth order, race and Hispanic origin, and marital status. 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 3.95 million births that occurred in 2012 are presented. Results—A total of 3,952,841 births were registered in the United States in 2012. The general fertility rate declined to 63.0 per 1,000 women aged 15–44. The teen birth rate fell 6%, to 29.4 per 1,000 women. Birth rates declined for women in their twenties and increased for women aged 30–44. The total fertility rate (estimated number of births over a woman’s lifetime) declined 1% to 1,880.5 per 1,000 women. The rate of births to unmarried women declined; the percentage of births to unmarried women was essentially stable at 40.7%, but the number of births to unmarried women increased slightly. The cesarean delivery rate was unchanged at 32.8%. The preterm birth rate declined for the sixth straight year to 11.55%; the low birthweight rate declined slightly to 7.99%. The twin birth rate was stable at 33.1 per 1,000 births; the rate of triplet and higher- order multiple births dropped 9% to 124.4 per 100,000 total births. Suggested citation: Martin JA, Hamilton BE, Osterman MJK, et al. Births: Final data for 2012. National vital statistics reports; vol 62 no 9. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2013. CS251740
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