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U.S. Birth Rates Increased for the First Time in Five Years

Update Date: May 29, 2014 04:10 PM EDT
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For the first time in five years, the United States' birth rate has increased. The latest government report stated that even though the rise in numbers is very small, the numbers could indicate the end of the nation's baby recession.

For this report, researchers headed by Brady Hamilton from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed data taken from U.S. birth certificates in 2012. The researchers reported that the number of births in 2013 increased by nearly 4,700. Birth rates were higher in women aged 30 and older, and lower in teenagers and women in their 20s. The researchers reported that the birth rates increased by one percent and three percent last year for women in their early 30s and late 30s respectively. For women in their 40s, birth rates increased by one percent.

"Maybe the new norm is having children in your 30s," Rob Stephenson, an Emory University demographer focused on reproductive health, said according to CBS Atlanta.

The teen birth rates, which include girls between the ages of 15 and 17 continued to fall. Last year, the rates fell by 13 percent. In 2013, there were a total of 75,234 babies, which is down from the 86,423 babies born in 2012.

"Young childbearing is becoming less and less accepted," said Laura Lindberg, senior research associate at the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive-health research group reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Over the past few years, experts have blamed the low birth rates on the poor economy. In 2007, birth rates hit their peak at more than 4.3 million. After that, the rates started to fall significantly through to 2010. From 2010 to 2012, the rates continued to fall but at a much slower rate. The researchers theorized that the improving economy could explain why more women are having babies. The team added that the birth rates could have increased because more women want to have a baby before it becomes too late.

The CDC report can be accessed here.

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