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Births Among Teens, Women in 20s Hit Record Lows in US

  • VOA News

FILE - In this July 25, 2012 file photo, a pregnant woman is examined as she waits to give birth at a public hospital in Rio de Janeiro.

FILE - In this July 25, 2012 file photo, a pregnant woman is examined as she waits to give birth at a public hospital in Rio de Janeiro.

The number of babies born to teenagers and young women continues to decline in the United States.

A record low number of teenagers and women in their 20s gave birth in the U.S. in 2015, according to new government data released Thursday.

Preliminary figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed the birth rate among mothers ages 15 to 19 fell by 8 percent last year, and has dropped 64 percent since 1991.

Overall, U.S. mothers gave birth to 3.98 million babies in 2015, only slightly fewer than the year before. The birth rate was 62.5 per 1,000 women.

The numbers continue the trend of women giving birth later in life.

Those aged 20 to 24 had 3 percent fewer births last year, a figure that has declined by 27 percent during the past decade. For those 25 to 29, the birth rate fell by 1 percent.

But women in their 30s saw their fifth consecutive year of increases, while the birth rate for women 40 to 44 jumped by 4 percent last year.

About one-third of the country's 50 states saw an increase in births, led by Florida and Delaware, which each rose just under 2 percent. In Florida, that increase included a 3.6 percent jump in births by Hispanic mothers and 2.9 percent by black mothers.

California (-2.3 percent), Vermont (-3.7 percent) and West Virginia (-2.5 percent) saw the biggest decreases. California's drop included declines of more than 4.5 percent for both black and Asian mothers, while in Vermont the number of births to white mothers plummeted more than 6 percent.

As far as how the babies were delivered, the rate of cesarean births fell for the third year in a row to 32 percent. The number of births to unmarried mothers also continued a multi-year decline, falling by 1 percent in 2015.

According to a separate set of date released earlier by the Social Security Administration, the most popular names for boys last year were Noah, Liam, Mason, Jacob and William. For girls, the favorites were Emma, Olivia, Sophia, Ava and Isabella.

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