- Al Sharpton, Trayvon Martin’s parents rally against Fla. ‘stand your ground’ law
- Hillary Clinton campaign got illicit funds from D.C. scandal figure
- Obama administration backs off plan to cut prescription-drug program
- Tickets linked to stolen passports purchased by Iranian middleman
- More than 3,500 police planned for Boston Marathon
- Ottawa day care suspends 2-year-old for ‘outside’ cheese sandwich
- Liam Neeson tells NYC mayor to ‘man up’ in horse carriage fight
- Real-life Dr. Doolittle to reveal how to talk to animals
- Climate change could bring back smallpox, researchers say
- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
WETZSTEIN: Moms deliver birth records
A recent federal report on American childbearing was literally bursting with records.
But it may be hard to tell the good news from the maybe-not-so-good news.
Media headlines captured the main finding, which was that in 2009 teen births fell to their lowest level since 1940, when the federal government started tracking teen childbearing.
The new birthrate for elder teens, aged 15 to 19, was 39.1 births per 1,000 teens. This marked an amazing 37 percent slide from 1991, the peak year when the birthrate was 61.8 per 1,000 teens.
Declines were seen in teens of all ages, but perhaps the most welcome news was that the birthrate for the youngest girls, aged 10 to 14, was the lowest ever recorded (0.5 births per 1,000).
Lowering teen births has long been a national goal, primarily because most of these births occur to unmarried teens and having a baby at such a young age virtually guarantees a more complicated life for everyone. So these new, lower teen birth numbers are likely to be heartening to most people.
• America’s crude birth rate (13.5 births per year per 1,000 total population) is the lowest ever recorded.
• America’s general fertility rate (66.7 births per year per 1,000 women aged 15-44) declined 3 percent, erasing gains made from 2006 to 2008.
• The total fertility rate fell 4 percent in one year, to 2,007.5 births per 1,000 women in their lifetimes. This was the largest decline in this vital statistic since 1973. It also marked the second year in a row that America’s fertility rate was “below replacement,” i.e., below 2.1 births per woman.
Then when researchers looked at which groups of women were — and weren’t — having babies, more changes emerged:
• The birthrate for young women aged 20 to 24 fell 7 percent, the largest decline for this group since 1973.
• The number of births to women in their late 20s also fell, by 4 percent. So did births to women in their 30s, albeit modestly.
• The only age group to have a higher birthrate was women aged 40 to 44. Their rate of 10.1 births per 1,000 was the highest since 1967.
As for unmarried women and childbearing, there were mixed outcomes.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor.
Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...
- Stricter standards force abortion clinics to close; pro-lifers cheer shrinking numbers
- Public accommodations provision in Md. transgender rights bill draws outcry
- German home-school family can stay in U.S. indefinitely
- U.S. Supreme Court declines German home-school case
- Medical facility 'buffer-zone' law in court
Latest Blog Entries
- Gay therapy ban author seeks Calif. House seat
- Transgender 'bathroom law' gets 5,000 more signatures
- Pro-life, stem-cell bill signed into law by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback
- N. Dakota lawmakers approve tough abortion bill
- Pope Benedict XVI's successor should allow priests to get a new title: Husband, poll finds
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Unanimous Senate passes bill on military sex assault to give victims more say in prosecution
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS after months of talks
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again