Births : provisional data for 2017
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Births : provisional data for 2017

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      Objectives—This report presents provisional 2017 data on U.S. births. Births are shown by age and race and Hispanic origin of mother. Data on prenatal care, cesarean delivery, preterm births, and low birthweight are also presented. This report is the second in a new annual series replacing the preliminary report series.

      Methods—Data are based on 99.93% of 2017 births. Records for the states with less than 100% of records received are weighted to independent control counts of all births received in state vital statistics offices in 2017. Comparisons are made with final 2016 data and earlier years.

      Results—The provisional number of births for the United States in 2017 was 3,853,472, down 2% from 2016 and the lowest number in 30 years. The general fertility rate was 60.2 births per 1,000 women aged 15–44, down 3% from 2016 and another record low for the United States. Birth rates declined for nearly all age groups of women under 40, but rose for women in their early 40s. The birth rate for teenagers aged 15–19 was down 7% in 2017 to 18.8 births per 1,000 women; rates declined for both younger (aged 15–17) and older (aged 18–19) teenagers. The cesarean delivery rate increased to 32.0% in 2017; the low-risk cesarean delivery rate increased to 26.0%. The preterm birth rate rose for the third year in a row to 9.93% in 2017; the 2017 rate of low birthweight (8.27%) was one of the highest levels reported since 2006.

      This report from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is part of the National Vital Statistics System Rapid Release, Quarterly Provisional Estimates data series.


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