From Our 2009 Archives

U.S. Pregnancy Rate Is Dropping

CDC Report Shows the Abortion Rate Also Declined Between 1990 and 2005

By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Health News

Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

Oct. 14, 2009 -- The U.S. pregnancy rate dropped by 11% from 1990 to 2005, a new CDC report shows.

According to that report, there were an estimated 6.4 million pregnancies in the U.S. in 2005, which works out to a rate of 103.2 pregnancies per 1,000 women ages 15-44, compared to a rate of 115.8 pregnancies per 1,000 women ages 15-44 in 1990.

The 2005 pregnancy rate is close to the nation's pregnancy rate in 1976, when the CDC started tracking pregnancy data.

Other findings, published in the CDC's National Vital Statistics Report, include:

  • Women in their 20s had the highest pregnancy rates from 1990 to 2005.
  • Pregnancy rates dropped by 8% for married women and by 11% for unmarried women during 1990-2005.
  • Pregnancy rates dropped for teens during 1990-2005, with a greater decline for teens ages 15-17, compared to older teens.

The data do not include the 2006 rise in teen birth rates reported earlier this year.

The estimated 6,408,000 pregnancies in the U.S. in 2005 include 4.14 million live births, 1.21 million induced abortions, and 1.06 million miscarriages or other fetal losses.

The abortion rate fell during the years studied. Among married women, seven out of 1,000 pregnant women got an abortion in 2005, down from 11 per 1,000 pregnant women in 1990. Among unmarried women, 31 per 1,000 pregnant women got abortions in 2005, compared to 48 per 1,000 in 1990.

SOURCES: CDC, National Vital Statistics Report, Oct. 14, 2009; vol 58: pp 1-16.

WebMD Health News: "Teen Birth Rates on the Rise."

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