Maternal Age

In 2005, the general fertility rate rose slightly to 66.7 births per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years. The birth rate among teenagers aged 15–19 years continued to decline, reaching another record low (40.5 births per 1,000 women aged 15–19). This rate was 35 percent lower than the most recent peak reported in 1991 (61.8 births per 1,000). The highest birth rate was among women aged 25–29 (115.5 per 1,000), followed by women aged 20–24 years (102.2 per 1,000). There was a 2.0 percent increase in birth rates among women aged 35–39 years and 40–44 years, since 2004, to 46.3 and 9.1 per 1,000, respectively (data not shown).

In 2005, 10.2 percent of births were to women aged 19 years and younger, and 52.5 percent of births were to women in their twenties; more than one-third of births were to women in their thirties, and 2.7 percent were to women aged 40–54 years (data not shown). The average age at first birth was 25.2 years; this is an increase of almost 4 years since 1970.

Among non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic women, more than 56 percent of births were to women in their twenties, while just over half of births to non-Hispanic White women occurred in the same age group. The proportion of births to teenagers was higher among non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic women (17.0 and 14.1 percent, respectively) than to non-Hispanic White women (7.3 percent). Non-Hispanic White women giving birth were more likely to be in the 30- to 54-year-old age range than were either non-Hispanic Black or Hispanic women.

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