Public/Global Health

Fertility rate increases for first time since 2014: CDC

two babies wrapped in blankets in a hospital ward bassinet

Fertility rates in the U.S. increased in 2021 for the first time since 2014, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The general fertility rate in 2021 was 56.3 births per 1,000 women in the 15 to 44-year-old age range, a 1 percent increase over 2020 numbers.

This is the first increase since 2014, according to the report, and follows years of declines, including a recent 4 percent drop between 2019 and 2020.

The 2021 total fertility rate, calculated as the number of births per woman across their lifetime, was estimated to be 1,664 births per 1,000 women, up 1 percent compared to 2020.

Across age groups, birth rates decreased among women ages 15 to 24 and increased for women 25 to 44 years old. Birth rates remained the same for the youngest (10 to 14 years old) and oldest (45 to 49 years old) age groups.

The average age for pregnant people at first birth was 27.3 years old, an increase from 27.1 in 2020 and a new record high, notes the CDC.

The average age at first birth increased across nearly all race groups to 25.5 years old for Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black women, 28.1 for non-Hispanic White women and 31.2 for non-Hispanic Asian women.

Although fertility rates are trending upward, the number of births is below previous years.

Total number of births in 2021 was 3,664,292, which is about 80,000 fewer than in 2019.

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