Teenage mothers becoming increasingly rare, fertility rate also in decline
The birth rate in the United States has declined by 1% from 2015-2016, and the fertility rate of 62 births per 1,000 is a record-breaking low amongst teenage girls, according to a recent study conducted between 2015 and 2016 regarding all facets of birth in the United States, from prenatal care to general birth statistics.
This decline has been cause for celebration by medical professionals. Dr. Elise Berlan, a physician at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital declared her happiness at the statistics, as “. . .the vast majority of teen births are unintended”.
Dr. Berlan went on to say: “Data [from previous studies] really suggests it is access to contraceptives and use of contraceptives that has really led to these kind of changes . . . most teens are using some form of birth control . . . the condom [is most popular], followed by withdrawal and the pill.”
Co-author of the report Joyce A. Martin noted that births to people who aren’t legally married has also been in decline, down 3% from 2015-2016.
Older moms becoming more common, as well as other interesting finds
The birth rate for women aged 30-34 increased by 1% in 2015, the highest rate of increase since 1964. For women aged 35-39, the birth rate has increased 2% of 2015, the highest rate since 1962.
The study also revealed that three out of four women received prenatal care in the first trimester. However, 6.2% of women had late or no prenatal care.
The percentage of women receiving prenatal care ranged from 51.9% to 80% depending on different groups (non-Hispanic native Hawaiin and other Pacific Islanders women having the lowest percentage, and Asian and non-Hispanic white women having the highest – non-Hispanic black women averaged in the middle).
Martin noted that ideally, “we want to bring everybody up to an overall rate of over 80%”.
The study revealed the crucial importance of access to health care as the deciding factor in a woman’s health regarding pregnancy, birth, and avoiding unplanned pregnancies.