Recent data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the Centers for Disease Control, found that birth rates for most American women fell 4 percent between 2007 and 2009 – and the decline was at a faster rate than for any two-year period in more than 30 years. The total number of U.S. births for 2009 was 4.1 million, compared to 4.3 million in 2007.
Another key finding: For women under 40, some of the biggest dips were for women in their peak childbearing years; the birth rate fell a whopping 9 percent for women ages 20 to 24 – the lowest ever recorded for this age group, the NCHS reported. Hispanic women saw the largest dip in births, dropping by 9 percent during the two-year period.
One exception to the decline: The birth rate in women over 40 grew by 17 percent during the the two years – the only age group to show an increase.