U.S. women having fewer children
|Author: Nadia Kounang|
Date: Monday, December 9th, 2013
|Return to Archive|
Between 2000 and 2009, pregnancy rates for U.S. women fell by 12%, or nearly 6.4 million pregnancies. The pregnancy rate is the lowest it has been in 12 years.
In fact, the rates for teenage pregnancy reached historic lows in 2009, for all three major race groups: non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanic teenagers. In 2009, there were 39% fewer teen pregnancies than the 1991 peak rate of 61.8 teen pregnancies for every 1,000 teens.
"Research suggests that more teens are delaying initiating sex, waiting longer to have sex," said Rachel Jones, a senior research associate with the Guttmacher Institute, who was not associated with the study.
"More teens are using more contraceptives and using more effective methods of contraception," Jones said.
But while pregnancy rates for women younger than 30 fell, rates for women older than 30 have increased steadily since 1990. In fact, the number of women between the ages of 35 to 39 becoming pregnant has jumped by 30% since 1990.
"The expectation is that women in their 30s have considered career and education, delaying childbirth till their 30s, so they're making a conscientious decision to become pregnant and have a baby," Jones said.
Abortion rates overall have also dropped since 1990. There were 32% fewer abortions in 2009 than in 1990. The biggest drop was seen in the number of teen abortions. The rate of teen abortions in 2009 was less than one-half the rate it was in 1990.
"A lot of effort and lot of money have been spent on reducing teen pregnancy, and it shows that you can make a change... that when you put the effort in," said Jones.
The CDC also came out with birth rates for the past year. Between June 2012 and June 2013, nearly 4 million children were born. While the number of births has been dropping steadily since 2007, the number of children born this year remained steady since the previous year.
From Ebola in West Africa to chikungunya in the Caribbean, the world has had plenty of strange — and scary — outbreaks this year. Some pathogens have even landed in the U.S. Just a few months ago, two men boarded planes in Saudi Arabia and brought a from
Antibiotic resistance in foodborne germs, an ongoing public health threat, showed both positive and troubling trends, according to data tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2012.
If you're feeling stressed these days, the news media may be partly to blame. At least that's the suggestion of conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.
How does one ditch a dependence on soda? Here are five tips for kicking your soda habit for good.
Are artificial sweeteners used in soft drinks and foods safe? Will they make us fat? How much is too much? Science doesn't have all the answers yet, but researchers have some clues.