Families are smaller and people are waiting longer to have children than in years past, according to an NBC News analysis of data released this week by the National Center for Health Statistics.
The U.S. teen birth rate hit a record low in 2019, the NCHS report shows, with fewer than 1.7 births per 100 teen girls ages 15 to 19. The teen birth rate has fallen sharply since 2007 amid a decadeslong pattern of decline, according to the report, but it’s still higher than the rates in many other high-income countries.
The overall fertility rate in the U.S. declined from 2015 to 2020, additional NCHS data shows, reaching a low of fewer than 6 births per 100 women ages 15 to 44. (The rate then rose 1% from 2020 to 2021, though the overall trend still faces downward.)
The U.S. birth rate — the number of births per 1,000 women — declined from 2018 to 2019 among women in their 20s and early 30s but increased among women ages 35 to 44, the report showed.
The data also revealed that from 2015 to 2019, 24 was the average age at which a woman gave birth to her first child, while the average man had his first at 27. In previous years, those averages were 23 for women and 25 for men.