1. Section Editor(s): STOKOWSKI, LAURA A. RN, MS

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Preliminary data for year 2005 births in the United States have been released by the National Center for Health Statistics, and they reveal some interesting trends.1 The crude birth rate in 2005 was 14.0 births per 1,000 total population, unchanged from 2004. However, the overall fertility rate rose to 66.7 births per 1000 women aged 15 to 44 years, the highest level since 1993. Teenage birth trends are dropping. The birth rate among teens declined by 2% in 2005 to 40.4 births per 1000 women 15 to 19 years of age, the lowest rate recorded in the 65 years for which consistent rates are available. For women aged 20 to 24 years, the birth rate rose, whereas the rate for women aged 25 to 29 years was essentially unchanged. The birth rates for women 30 years and older increased to levels not seen in almost 40 years. The birth rate for women aged 40 to 44 years rose by 2%, to its highest rate since 1968, and for women aged 45 to 49 years, the rate reached its highest level since 1970. Childbearing to unmarried women also increased to record levels in 2005. The report also heralded some disturbing trends. The cesarean delivery rate rose by 4% in 2005 to 30.2%, another record high for the United States. In addition, the preterm birth rate rose again in 2005 to 12.7%, as did the rate for low birth-weight infants (8.2%).




1. Hamilton BE, Martin JA, Ventura SJ. Births: preliminary data for 2005. Health E-Stats. Released November 21, 2006. Available at: Accessed November 27, 2006. [Context Link]