The overall birthrate in the United States has increased for the first time in seven years. In addition, the birthrate among teens has dropped. Where is the increase coming from? It turns out that the slight increase in births is due to older moms.
The Verge reported some data from a report created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Part of the report noted the birthrate in the United States for 2013 and 2014.
In 2013, there were 62.5 births per 1,000 women. In 2014, that number slightly increased to 63 births per 1,000 women. The CDC found that women in their 30’s and 40’s were having more kids. In other words, the birthrate increase in the United States is due to older moms.
Births among women in their 30’s increased by 3% from 2013 to 2014. Births among women in their 40’s increased by 2% from 2013 to 2014. This change was apparent for women of all races with the exception of American Indian and Alaska Native women.
The report does not specifically state the reasons why there was an increase in birthrate among women who were in their 30’s or 40’s. So, we are left to speculate. Could the birthrate increase from older mothers be due to the use if in-vitro fertilization (IVF)? About 1 percent of babies born each year in the United States are the result of IVF.
The Population Reference Bureau notes that education affects the timing of marriages and first births, typically delaying both. It is possible that women are putting off getting married, and having children, until after they have completed their education. In other words, the increase of birthrate in older moms could be because many women are choosing to wait longer before having a child.
Another reason why women delay becoming mothers has to do with economics. Women may be delaying having children until their financial situation becomes more stable and robust.
At the same time that there is an increase in older moms having babies,, there has been a decrease in the birthrate among teens. In 1991, there were close to 62 births for every 1,000 women aged 15 to 19. Today, the birthrate among teens is 24 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19. The data shows that birthrates among teen mothers has decreased by more than 60 percent.
Why is that happening? One big reason is due to increased access to long-acting reversible contraception. Colorado, for example, had a special program that enabled teens to receive long-acting contraception, in the form of IUD’s or implants, for little or no cost. As a result, teen births dropped 40 percent and abortions among teens fell 35 percent.
Image by Eric Ward on Flickr.
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