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Births in U.S. drop for sixth year in a row

Karen Kaplan Los Angeles Times

American women gave birth to 3,932,181 babies in 2013 as the nation’s birthrate fell to another record low, federal researchers reported Thursday.

The total number of births declined for the sixth straight year, with only 62.5 babies born for every 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44. The birthrate has dropped 10 percent since peaking in 2007.

The continuing baby bust comes courtesy of women under the age of 30, who are increasingly delaying motherhood. The birthrate for women ages 20 to 24 fell 3 percent from 2012 to 2013, and dipped 1 percent for women ages 25 to 29. Last year, there were 80.7 babies born for every 1,000 women in their early 20s, along with 105.5 babies born per 1,000 women in their later 20s.

Meanwhile, births to women who already turned 30 continued to rise. The birthrate for women ages 30 to 34 rose 1 percent, to 98 per 1,000, and grew 2 percent, to 49.3 per 1,000, for women between the ages of 35 and 39. The birthrate held steady at 10.4 for women ages 40 to 44.

Women above the age of 44 aren’t counted in the nation’s general fertility rate, but the report noted that there were 0.8 births for every 1,000 women between the ages of 45 and 49. That was a 14 percent increase compared with 2012.

Births to teens plunged 10 percent from 2012 to 2013, to a rate of 26.5 per 1,000.

The total number of births to white and Latina women fell by 1 percent or less between 2012 and 2013, and it remained essentially unchanged for African-American women.

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