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The Facts of Life

Last week, the Center for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics released a preliminary report on their 2005 data on childbirth in the United States. Some notable facts include:

  • The birth rate for teenagers aged 15-19 fell to 40.4 births per 1,000 teenage girls from a peak of 61.8 births per 1,000 in 1991.
  • The percentage of births to unmarried mothers rose from 35.8% of total births in 2004 to 36.8% of total births in 2005.
  • The cesarean delivery rate is now 30.2% of all births, a record high. The rate of cesarean delivery has increased 46% since 1996.

  • A fascinating and heart-wrenching story about a modern American hospital delivery is available online through The New Yorker.


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