"The National Vital Statistics System, a division of the National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, released preliminary 2015 birth data for the United States, and we can consider the news to be stable if not positive in most areas.
Here are ten important major pieces of data released that help shape how we are doing as a country in providing care to pregnant people and their newborns. 99.53% of all births that occured in the U.S. in 2015 were captured in this report. It should be noted that beginning with 2014, NCHS changed the standards they were using to estimate the gestational age of the newborn. In 2014, they began using the obstetric estimate of gestation at delivery (OE), which replaced the measure based on the date of the last normal menses (LMP). LMP-based data is available here.
1. There were 3,977,745 births in 2015, a 0.3% decrease from 2014 numbers. There were 10,331 less births in 2015 than in 2014.
2. The birth rate for teenagers (women aged 15-19) was 22.3 births per 1,000. This is an historic low for the U.S and demonstrates an 8% drop over 2014 figures. Since the most recent peak in 1991, the rate has declined a total of 64%. In 2015, the preliminary number of births to women aged 15–19 was 229,888.
3. The percentage of all births to unmarried women was 40.2% in 2015, unchanged from 2014. In 2015, the number of births to unmarried women was 1,600,208, a 0.3% decline from 2014 (1,604,870). This is the seventh consecutive year of decline since the all-time peak in 2007/2008.
4. The preliminary overall cesarean birth rate was 32.0%, down from 32.2 in 2014 and the third straight yearof decline. The rate peaked in 2009 at 32.9, then remained stable but has gone down in each of the past three years, with this year being the lowest since 2007. 1,272,874 babies were born by cesarean in 2015. Non-Hispanic Blacks had the highest cesarean rate, 35.5%, compared to other races/ethnicities.
5. The rate of low-risk (NTSV) cesarean deliveries declined to 25.7% in 2015. This is 1% lower..."