U.S. women having fewer children
December 6th, 2013
12:01 AM ET

U.S. women having fewer children

New numbers out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that fewer women in the United States are having children.

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.

soundoff (270 Responses)
  1. Monkey

    Did you ever see the movie Idiocracy?

    December 6, 2013 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
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      December 12, 2013 at 10:24 | Report abuse |
  2. rip mlp

    the only reason people believe it is expensive to have children is because of the status quo and the media. We would not be here today if it was not for our ancestors who had kids despite their lack of health care, good schools and fancy plastic toys. It is said that every civilization rose to prominence with a high average child per family ratio, and when these civilizations fell, they had a very low child per family ratio. The only reason people claim its to expensive to have kids is because they are covering up the fact that they are selfish little kids who don't want to alter their lifestyles whatsoever.it is your patriotic duty to bear fruit and multiply. the rest of the world is going to inherit everything that we have done and they will not be kind to us once they grab the controls. I believe that if you don't have kids you should only be allowed half a vote on political elections. you who have no children have absolutely nothing invested in the future of this country and the rest of us should not be forced to live in your ideological utopia. furthermore we should not be dictated by people who have no future when we are the caretakers of the future of our country.

    December 6, 2013 at 17:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Child Free

      Patriotic duty to have children? People that choose not to have kids are just kids themselves?? Seriously?? You actually believe that garbage? This isn't the 1950's anymore. You can take that line of thinking and shove it where the sun doesn't shine.

      December 6, 2013 at 18:55 | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      rip mlp

      If the world is going to be inherited by you or people who think like you, then this country has no future either way.

      December 6, 2013 at 21:46 | Report abuse |
    • Nobody you know

      What a stupid comment. People are free to choose not to have children. I hope you do.

      December 13, 2013 at 18:28 | Report abuse |
    • Daisy

      That was remarkably entertaining!!! Haha that's a good one. Really.

      December 23, 2013 at 03:40 | Report abuse |
    • Gr8.redd

      Rip mip stated absolute facts, when people get self involved ,and do not have kids ,civilizations do end,eventually

      January 3, 2014 at 21:59 | Report abuse |
    • Nobody you know

      I wish your parents had stopped before they had you.

      January 4, 2014 at 00:04 | Report abuse |
    • mortimorti

      "We would not be here today if it was not for our ancestors who had kids despite their lack of health care, good schools and fancy plastic toys." While some of what you are saying is a little true (I personally feel the urge to provide more for my children then my parents gave me, but I think you could say that of every generation) I think there's far more that went into my farming ancestor's rate of procreation versus mine.
      1) lack of access to contraception (pregnancy was often unpredictable and unplanned)
      2) a societial expectation that women were supposed to have marry and have children
      3) the need for cheap labor (having children to help the family earn money and care for younger siblings)
      4) a society that didn't encourage unmarried women to earn a livable wage
      5) Far more is expected from a modern marriage then during my great-grandparent's generation and people are living longer and thus the pressure to find a compatible life-partner that can sustain a longer lifespan, not just during the childbearing years. It takes longer to find a quality spouse rather than just marrying some neighbor who lives in the same town as you do.
      6) the high divorce rate of our Baby Boomer parents scares their generation X and Y children from getting married in the first place

      July 9, 2014 at 17:25 | Report abuse |
  3. proplannow

    These are really great headlines for a change!

    Women are being empowered to take charge of their lives and plan their families through the use of contraception, including for teens, simply waiting longer before becoming sexually active.
    More such highlights, please!

    thanks from pro-plan-now.org
    Safe sex: It’s okay to talk about it!

    December 6, 2013 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken

      Its a great time to be women but with that success comes some unpleasant news for the married man – you can no longer expect your wife to dispense sexual attention to the husband. My wife accused me of asking her to " service my manhood ".
      As a result, the slack in the bed room is taken up by massage parlor girls.

      December 9, 2013 at 17:26 | Report abuse |
  4. NoKids

    Um, yeah, I’m not having kids. I’m severely under-employed, my husband and I struggle to make ends meet, and I don’t see a way in the foreseeable future to save anything for retirement. How the heck am I supposed to support a child in this situation? If our society and/or the mega corporations running the government want more labor and cannon fodder they need to bring back jobs and livable wages so people can raise kids. Can’t have it both ways, greedy corporations – at least not with my uterus.

    December 7, 2013 at 06:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. yourstruly

    Yeah,U.S. women,but the illegals from Mexico are coming over Here having TONS of kids. Sucking up Americas resources.

    December 7, 2013 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Daisy

      Sadly, this is the first thing that came to my mind when I read the headline.

      December 23, 2013 at 03:43 | Report abuse |
    • Nobody you know

      Neither you nor yours truly can produce evidence that this is true.

      December 23, 2013 at 09:30 | Report abuse |
  6. Bob Cruder

    Mexico did share the third-world pattern of making babies faster than it created wealth. Naturally that ratcheted the country poorer with each generation and made emigration a survival tactic.

    Mexico has changed! Education has triumphed over religion and average fertility has dropped to 2.28 which is below the long-term replacement rate. Some charlatan preacher will probably blame the next Mexican hurricane on divine disappointment.

    Enough of that drop is from hardship that immigrating to the U.S. probably does result in somewhat larger families. Nonetheless the desired family size has dropped from the 6-8 that we saw for the previous generation to less than 4.

    Only a few political pundits can praise the fact that the third world exports its profligate behavior to the U.S. but that problem is improving. Those who blame tightening budgets and inadequate public services on Mexico are parroting radio and Faux pundits rather than learning the facts.

    December 8, 2013 at 03:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Lucía Scoth

    My name is Mrs lucia from united kingdom i got married at the age of 30 i have only one child and i was living happily .After 5 year of my marriage my husband behavior became so strange and i don't really understand what was going on, he packed out of the house to another woman i love him so much that i never dreams of losing him, i try my possible best to make sure that my husband get back to me but all to no avail i cry seeking for help i discussed it with my best friend and she promise to help me he told me of a man called priest Aluta he is a very great man and a real man that can be trusted and there is nothing concerning love issues he cannot do that is why they call him the great doctor. I contacted him And i told him everything that happen all he told me is that i should not worry that all my problems will be solved immediately. He told me what to do to get my husband back and i did, he said after 4 days my husband will come back to me and start begging, it really happen i was very surprise and very happy our relationship was now very tight and we both live happily again.So my advice for you now is to contact this same email address traditionalspellhospital (@)gmail .com if you are in any kind of situation concerning love issues and any other things that give you problems contact him.

    December 24, 2013 at 09:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Trey

    I don't believe the socialists understand the economics of population growth. Society must have an increasing number of slaves to pay for the previous slaves. If people do not have children the game is over.

    January 31, 2014 at 08:35 | Report abuse | Reply
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    January 31, 2014 at 08:38 | Report abuse | Reply
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