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Births : final data for 2018
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    Objectives—This report presents 2018 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 3.79 million births that occurred in 2018 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 through 2018 are presented for selected items. Trend data by race and Hispanic origin are shown for 2016–2018. Results—3,791,712 births were registered in the United States in 2018, down 2% from 2017. Compared with rates in 2017, the general fertility rate declined to 59.1 births per 1,000 women aged 15–44. The birth rate for females aged 15–19 fell 7% in 2018. Birth rates declined for women aged 20–34 and increased for women aged 35–44. The total fertility rate declined to 1,729.5 births per 1,000 women in 2018. Birth rates for both married and unmarried women declined from 2017 to 2018. The percentage of women who began prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy rose to 77.5% in 2018; the percentage of all women who smoked during pregnancy declined to 6.5%. The cesarean delivery rate decreased to 31.9% in 2018 following an increase in 2017. Medicaid was the source of payment for 42.3% of all 2018 births, down 2% from 2017. The preterm birth rate rose for the fourth straight year to 10.02% in 2018; the rate of low birthweight was unchanged at 8.28%. Twin and triplet and higher-order multiple birth rates declined in 2018 (Figure 1). Suggested citation: Martin JA, Hamilton BE, Osterman MJK, Driscoll AK. Births: Final data for 2018. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 68, no 13. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2019. CS310999 nvsr68_13-508.pdf
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