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CDC: Birthrates Decline Overall

USA Today,  Dec 21, 2010
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Birthrates fell in 2009 for teens and for women in their 20s and 30s — in some cases to record-breaking low levels, according to new government data released Tuesday. The report also reflects a continued decline in the number of births overall.

For women ages 20-24, the birthrate declined by 7% to 96.3 births per 1,000, which represents the largest drop for this age group since 1973; the number of total births decreased 4%. For women ages 25-29, the birthrate was down 4% to 110.5 births per 1,000 and the total number of births decreased by 2%.

These preliminary estimates for 2009 from the National Center for Health Statistics are based on an analysis of birth records from across the USA.

"Women in their 20s still account for most births, so any declines in their rates are going to have an extra impact," says Stephanie Ventura, a demographer who co-authored the analysis.

The birthrate and number of births for women in their 30s also declined; the only age group whose birthrate rose was among women ages 40-44.

The total number of births declined from 4.2 million in 2008 to 4.1 million in 2009. And, according to early counts for the first half of 2010, the decline appears to be continuing, the analysis finds. The number of births in 2007 had been the highest ever recorded at 4.3 million.

The declines in both the number of births and birthrates are likely the result of the economic downturn, demographers say.

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