U.S. births up, teen and preterm deliveries down
"All of these are positive outcomes as far as infant health is concerned," said report coauthor Michelle Osterman, a health statistician at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.
Nearly 4 million births were registered in the United States in 2014, up 1 percent from 2013. Births rose for whites, blacks and Hispanics.
The birth rate for 15- to 19-year-old mothers fell 9 percent between 2013 and 2014, to 24.2 births per 1,000 teens, a historic low.
Birth rates also dropped to a record low for women in their early 20s. Rates rose for women in their late 20s, 30s and early 40s.
The average age of a first-time mother rose in 2014 to 26.3, up from 26 in 2013.
The birth rate for unmarried women fell for the sixth straight year, to 43.9 per 1,000 unmarried women aged 15 to 44.
The cesarean delivery rate dropped for the second straight year to 32.2 percent of all U.S. births.
The preterm birth rate (less than 37 weeks) was 9.57 percent, down slightly from 2013 and down 8 percent from 2007.
The rate of low birth weight infants was 8 percent, unchanged from 2013, but 3 percent lower than the 2006 high of 8.26 percent. ■