Multiple Births Statistics

BIRTH  STATISTICS

Most Current Summary of Births in the United States from the CDC –

            For the year 2015  (Released January 2017):

  • Numbers of live births:                                          3,978,497

 

  • Number of live singleton births:               3,838,635

 

  • Total number of multiple births:                 139,862

 

  • Number of twin births:                                      133,155

 

  • Number of triplet births:                     4,123       

 

  • Number of quadruplet births:                       228

 

  • Number of quintuplets and other higher order multiples:                            24           

 

  • Twin birth rate:                                            5/1000 live births

 

  • Triplet and higher-order multiple birth rate: 5/100,000 live births

 

  • Fertility rate:           5 births per 1000 women aged 15-44 years

 

  • Total fertility rate:                                      5  births/1000 women

 

  • Percent born low birth weight (<2500 grams):                    7%

 

  • Percent born pre-term (<37 weeks):                   63%

 

  • Teen birth rate:                    2/1000 women aged 15-19

 

  • Cesarean delivery rate      0%

 

 

Births:  Highlights of the Final Data for 2015

            This is the most recent data from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) on birth rate and associated trends in the United States.  This report was released in January 2017.  To view the entire report, visit:  https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr66/nvsr66_01.pdf 

This report contains detailed data on numbers and characteristics of birth and fertility rates, maternal demographic and health characteristics, place and attendant at birth, and infant health characteristics in the United States in 2015.

            A total of 3,978,497 live births were registered in the United States in 2015, down 1% from 2014. The number of births declined for non-Hispanic white and Hispanic women and was essentially unchanged for non-Hispanic black women from 2014 to 2015.

The general fertility rate also dropped 1% from the previous year to 62.5 births per 1000 women aged 15 to 44 years.  The total fertility rate decreased in 2015, to 1,843.5 births/1000 women.  The total fertility rate is the estimated number of births over a woman’s lifetime.

            The birth rate for teenagers dropped 8% from the previous year, to 24.2 births per 1,000 females aged 15-19, another historic low for the U.S.  Birth rates also declined to a new low among women in their twenties but rose for women in their thirties and early forties.

            The birth rate for unmarried women (43.5 per 1,000 births) fell in 2015 for the seventh consecutive year.         

            The mean age of the mother at first birth rose again, to 26.4 years in 2015, up from 26.3 in 2014  and up from 21.4 years in 1970.

            The 2015 U.S. Cesarean delivery rate declined for the third straight year to 32.0% of all U.S. births. 

            The preterm birth rate (delivery at less than 37 weeks gestation) was 9.63% in 2015, up slightly from 2014 and down from the high in 2007.  The preterm birth rate among singleton births has declined 10% since 2007.

            The 2015 rate of low birth weight (less than 2500 grams) was 8.7%, an all-time high.

 

Multiple Births

            The rise in multiple birth rates has been associated with expanded use of fertility therapies such as ovulation-inducing drugs and assisted reproductive technologies (ART).  Also, older maternal age at childbearing also contributes to more multiples births because of elevated FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) as women age.  An estimated 1.6% of 2013 births were the result of ART therapies alone.  Recent declines in triplet/HOM birth rates have been linked to changes in ART procedures, such as limiting the number of embryos transferred.

            Infants born in twin, triplet and HOM deliveries are at higher risk of adverse birth outcomes compared to singletons.  In 2015, similar to earlier years, more than 1 of every 2 twins and more than 9 of every 10 triplets were born preterm or low birthweight.

            Twins

            There were 133,155 infants born in twin deliveries in 2015, a decrease from 2014.  The 2015 twin birth rate was 33.5/1000 live births, down from the all-time high in 2014 of 33.9/1000. The rate of twin births rose 76 percent from 1980 to 2009-2011.  From 1980 to 2004, increases averaged nearly 3 percent a year (peaking at more than 4 percent from 1995 to 1998).   

            From 1990 to 2009, twin birth rates increased among each group; 62% for non-Hispanic white, 42% for non-Hispanic black, and 25% for Hispanic women.  Since 2009, however, rates have fluctuated modestly among non-Hispanic white women and trended upward for Hispanic women.  Among non-Hispanic black mothers, rates fluctuated from 2009 through 2012, but have risen 8% for 2012-2014.

                        Triplets/Higher-Order Multiples

There were 4,123 infants born in triplet deliveries in 2015; 228 quadruplets; and 24 quintuplets or more.

The triplet and higher order multiple birth rate declined another 9% from 2014 to 2015, from 113.5 to 103.6 per 100,000 births.  The 2015 triplet/HOM birth rate is the lowest in 21 years and is down more than 40% from the 1998 peak (193.5).  The triplet/HOM birth rate rose than 400% from 1980 to 1998, but has trended downward since, with average annual declines of more than 4%  reported since 2004.

The decline in the total triplet/HOM birth rate is largely the result of declines in rates among non-Hispanic white women.

The 4,375 births in triplet/HOM deliveries was the lowest number reported since 1993.

 

Numbers of twin, triplet, quadruplet, and quintuplet and other higher-order multiple births: United States, 1990 and 1995-2012.

Year                Twins              Triplets           Quads             Quints/HOM

2015                133,155           4,123               228                          24

2014                135,336           4,233               246                          47

2013                132,324           4,364               270                          66

2012                131,024           4598                276                          45

2011                131,269           5137                239                          41

2010                132,379           5153                313                  37

2009                137,379           5905                355                  80

2008                138,660           5877                345                  46

2007                138,961           5967                369                  91

2006                137,085           6540                355                  67

2005                133.122           6208                418                  68

2004                132,219           6750                439                  86

2003                128,665           7110                468                  85

2002                125,134           6898                434                  69

2001                121,246           6885                501                  85

2000                118,916           6742                506                  77

1999                114.307           6742                512                  67

1998                110,670           6919                627                  79

1997                104,137           6148                510                  79

1996                100,750           5298                560                  81

1995                96,736            4551                365                  57

1990                93,865            2830                185                  13