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Births : final data for 2017
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  • Description:
    Objectives—This report presents 2017 data on U.S. births according to a wide variety of characteristics. 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 3.86 million births that occurred in 2017 are presented. Data are presented for maternal age, live- birth order, race and Hispanic origin, marital status, tobacco use, prenatal care, source of payment for the delivery, method of delivery, gestational age, birthweight, and plurality. Selected data by mother's state of residence and birth rates by age also are shown. Trend data for 2010 to 2017 are presented for selected items. Trend data by race and Hispanic origin are shown for 2016 and 2017. Results— A total of 3,855,500 births were registered in the United States in 2017, down 2% from 2016. Compared with rates in 2016, the general fertility rate declined to 60.3 births per 1,000 women aged 15–44. The birth rate for females aged 15–19 fell 7% in 2017. Birth rates declined for women in their 20s and 30s but increased for women in their early 40s. The total fertility rate declined to 1,765.5 births per 1,000 women in 2017. Birth rates for both married and unmarried women declined from 2016 to 2017. The percentage of women who began prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy rose to 77.3% in 2017; the percentage of all women who smoked during pregnancy declined to 6.9%. The cesarean delivery rate increased to 32.0% following 4 years of declines. Medicaid was the source of payment for 43.0% of all births in 2017, up 1% from 2016. The preterm birth rate rose for the third straight year, as did the rate of low birthweight. Twin and triplet and higher-order multiple birth rates were essentially stable in 2017. Suggested citation: Martin JA, Hamilton BE, Osterman MJK, Driscoll AK, Drake P. Births: Final data for 2017. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 67 no 8. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2018. CS296610 nvsr67_08-508.pdf
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