Birth in the USA: Check Out These Birth Statistics

Every year the National Center of Health Statistics compiles the nation’s birth data. While each baby born is special and unique, collecting and compiling data can help us see trends in when and how babies come into the world. Check out these awesome birth statistics from 2016, the most recent year there is complete data for.

In 2016, 3,945,875 babies made their appearance in the United States. While these babies were born to moms in all different stages of their life, the average first-time mom was 26.6 years old. On the whole, moms are getting older. Birth rates fell for women under 30 but rose for women over 30. One surprising group with a rising birth rate: moms over 50. In 2016 there were 786 births to mothers over 50 years old.

While moms are getting older and the teenage birth rate fell in 2016, today’s moms are less concerned with being married before their baby arrives than mothers in the past. 39.8% percent of babies were born to moms who were unmarried while 61.2% were born to moms who had already tied the knot.

birth statistics
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Of the babies of 2016, 2,684,803 (69.1%) were born vaginally while 1,258,581 (31.9%) were born by Cesarean section. While the vast majority of babies are born on their own, a significant number had a womb-buddy or two. There were 131,723 twin births, 3,755 triplet births, 217 quadruplet births and a shopping (and kind of terrifying) 31 quintuplets or higher order births.

During pregnancy, one of a moms-to-be biggest concerns is keeping her baby growing inside her for as long as possible. 9.85% of babies were born preterm. Most of the babies born preterm were born late preterm and, unfortunately, the preterm birth rose again in 2016 after rising in 2015 as well.

While all moms are concerned about getting their babies safely from womb to world, sometimes they partake in behaviors that aren’t good for their little ones. 7.2% of moms who delivered in 2016 reported smoking or using other tobacco products at some point during their pregnancy.

Every baby born in 2016 was a blessing and we can’t wait to watch them (and their moms) grow and thrive!

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Birth in the USA: Check Out These Birth Statistics

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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