U.S.

When to Have a Baby: New Moms Are Getting Older, Not Younger

Women in their early 30s are having babies more than women in their 20s.
Heather Padgett dresses her daughters Kinsley and Kiley at her home in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 16, 2015. Women in their early 30s are having babies more than women in their 20s, according to a Centers for Disease Control report released May 17, 2017. Aaron P. Bernstein/REUTERS

Women aren’t having babies as young as they used to. Over the past three decades, the vast majority of women were having kids in their 20s. But these days, women in their early 30s are actually becoming moms for the first time more often than ladies in their early to late 20s, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Wednesday.

Based on preliminary data gathered in 2016, the CDC found the birth rate for women ages 30-34 reached about 102.6 per 1,000, whereas the birth rate for women ages 25-29 was 101.9 per 1,000. Back in 2015, the CDC listed the birth rate for women 25-29 at 104.3 births per 1,000 women compared to just 101.4 births per 1,000 women ages 30-34.

Birth rates for older women also increased, with 52.6 births for every 1,000 women in 2016 compared to 51.8 births per 1,000 women in 2015.

On average, women were having their first child at the age of 28, according to the findings.

Meanwhile, the birth rate among teen girls dropped. There were only 20.3 births for every 1,000 15-to-19-year-olds in 2016 compared with 22.3 births per 1,000 in 2015.

Although women in their 30s were found to give birth more often than women in their 20s for the first time ever, the general consensus was that the overall birth rate in the U.S. was continuing to drop. In 2016, there were only about 62 births per 100,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44.

A separate report by the CDC released in late 2016 found that the birth rate in the U.S. had reached its lowest level since the government first started keeping track of the national birth rate in 1909. At the time of that specific report, the CDC found there were only 59.6 births per 1,000 women.

Meanwhile, the death rate in the U.S. decreased in 2016 to 724 deaths per 100,000 people from 2015’s 733 per 100,000. There had been a spike in the national death rate in 2015, which health officials blamed on an increase of the number of people dying from heart disease.

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