In 2004, the general fertility rate rose
to 66.3 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 years. The
birth rate among teenagers 15 to 19 years continued to decline,
reaching another record low. This rate was 33 percent lower
than the recent peak of 41.2 births per 1,000 women in this
age group reported in 1991. The rate among women aged 20
to 24 years also reached a record low (101.7 per 1,000).
Conversely, the birth rate among women aged 30 to 34 years
rose slightly (less than 1 percent), while the rates among
women aged 35 to 39 and 40 to 44 years rose more notably
(4 and 3 percent, respectively). In 2004, just over 10 percent
of births were to women aged 19 years and younger and 52
percent were to women in their twenties; just over one-third
of births were to women in their thirties, and 2.7 percent
were to women in their forties and early fifties.
Among non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic
women, over half of births were to women in their twenties;
exactly half of births to non-Hispanic White women occurred
in the same age group. The proportion of births that were
to teenagers was higher among non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic
women (17.2 and 14.3 percent, respectively) than to non-Hispanic
White women (7.4 percent). Non-Hispanic White women were
more likely than non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic women to
give birth in their thirties, forties, and early fifties.