The fertility rate, which is based on the number of babies born per thousand women aged 15-44, is 59.8 babies per 1,000. That’s a slight drop compared to the first quarter of 2015, when the rate was 60 babies per 1,000 women. According to researchers at the CDC, this is the lowest number on record. Note that fertility rate is slightly different than birth rate, which is based on the number of babies born compared to the entire U.S. population.
The numbers also reflect interesting demographic changes. Between 2015 and 2016, the fertility rate among teens dropped from 22.7 babies per thousand women to 20.8. For women aged 20-24, the drop was from 75.2 babies per thousand women to 72.5, and for women aged 25-29, the drop was from 100.3 to 98.4.
However, the rate actually rose slightly for women in their 30s and 40s. For example, the fertility rate for women aged 30-34 increased from 95.6 to 97.9. The numbers may reflect the trend of more women choosing to have children later in life, as well as an overall decrease in teen pregnancy. This correlates with an earlier study released by the CDC in January, finding that the average age of mothers when they have their first child has risen from 24.9 years old in 2000 to 26.3 years old in 2014.