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Americans Are Having Fewer Babies Yearly

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Americans continue to have fewer babies yearly, as the number of newborns delivered in the country fell for the second year in a row in 2016.

A report from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that for some groups of women, the birth rate reached record lows. The numbers released include 99.96% of all births in the USA last year, The Los Angeles Times reports.

According to the figures, the total number of babies born in 2016 was 3,941,109. This is 37,388 fewer babies compared to 2015, which means a 1% decline. The number of births in a country tend to grow as the population increases, so statisticians usually make comparisons by computing the general fertility rate, or the number of births per 1,000 women between 15 and 55 years old (childbearing age).

In 2016, the fertility rate for the US hit a record low of 62 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age. That was a drop from 2015, wherein the general fertility rate was 62.5.

Scientists also take a look at the total fertility rate, or the estimate of the total number of babies that 1,000 women would have in the course of their lifetime. This is based on the actual birth rates for women, according to age group.

The total fertility rate for Americans in 2016 was 1,818 births per 1,000 women – the lowest since 1984. For a generation to completely replace itself, the total fertility rate should be 2,100 births per 1,000 women. The USA has not been meeting that goal since 1971, even with the population increase due to immigration.

In addition, the ages of women giving birth in the country has been increasing. Birth rates for women 30 years and older hit an all-time high since the 1960s, with women in their early 30s recording the highest birth rate of any age group.

On the other hand, birth rates for teens and women in their early 20s hit record lows in 2016, with only 20.3 births per 1,000 women between 15 and 19 years old. This is 9% lower than in 2015, and 51% down from 2007.

The majority of births in 2016 were for women ages 20 to 24, recording 73.7 births for every 1,000 women, and 101.9 births for every 1,000 women ages 25 to 29. But these were still 4% and 2% lower than 2015, respectively.

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