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United States births sink to lowest number in 30 years, CDC says

United States births sink to lowest number in 30 years, CDC says

THURSDAY, May 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) - The number of U.S. births decreased in 2017, reaching a 30-year low, according to a report published online May 17 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

In the United States, the provisional or "draft" number of births in 2017 was tallied at 3,853,472 births - a 2 percent drop from the year before.

Why? Experts aren't exactly sure.

One explanation for the decline in births: More women are going to college and may be focusing on their careers and paying off college debt before starting a family, says the Wall Street Journal. The general fertility rate was 60.2 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 years, which marked a record low, down 3 percent from 2016.

The total fertility rate in the 2017 was once again below the level at which a generation can replace itself.

The number of teen births also continued to decline, dropping another 7 percent a year ago. On the higher end of the spectrum, provisional birth rates for women ages 45 to 49 remained unchanged, as well. Data for 2017 were compared with 2016 data and earlier years. But he added that his birthing unit, and others that he's been in contact with, have seen an overall decline in births recently.

This is the third year that the number of births has declined after an increase in 2014, and it's the lowest number of births since 1987.

Rates of preterm birth and low birthweight rate also rose for the third year in a row.