Multiple Births Statistics

Birth Statistics

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

For the year 2014 (Released in December, 2015):

      • Numbers of live births:                                          3,988,076
      • Number of live singleton births:               3,848,214
      • Total number of multiple births:                 139,862
      • Number of twin births:                              135,336
      • Number of triplet births:                     4,233
      • Number of quadruplet births:                       246
      • Number of quintuplets and other higher order multiples:  47
      • Twin birth: 9/1000 live births (a new high for the nation)
      • Triplet and higher-order multiple birth rate: 5/100,000 live births
      • Fertility rate:           9 births per 1000 women aged 15-44 years
      • Total fertility rate:                                      5  births/1000 women
      • Percent born low birth weight (<2500 grams):                    0%
      • Percent born pre-term (<37 weeks):                   57%
      • Teen birth rate:                    2/1000 women aged 15-19
      • Cesarean delivery rate      2%

 

 

Births:  Highlights of the Final Data for 2014

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 December 2015.  To view the entire report, visit:  http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_12.pdf.  The 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 2014.

A total of 3,988,076 live births were registered in the United States in 2014, up 1% from 2013.  The general fertility rate rose less than 1% to 62.9 per 1000 women aged 15 to 44 years.  The total fertility rate also rose in 2014, to 1,862.5 births/1000 women.  The total fertility rate is the estimated number of births over a woman’s lifetime.

The birth rate for teenagers dropped 9% 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 early twenties but rose for women in their late twenties, thirties and early forties.

The birth rate for unmarried women fell in 2014 for the sixth consecutive year, however the number of non-marital births increased 1% from 2013.

The mean age of the mother at first birth rose again, to 26.3 years in 2014, up from 26 years in 2013 and 21.4 years in 1970.

The 2014 U.S. Cesarean delivery rate declined for the second straight year to 32.2% of all U.S. births in 2014.

The preterm birth rate (delivery at less than 37 weeks gestation) was 9.57% in 2014, down slightly from 2013 and down 8% from 2007.  The preterm birth rate among singleton births has declined 10% since 2007.

The 2014 rate of low birth weight (less than 2500 grams) was 8.0%, essentially unchanged from 2013, but 3% lower than the 2006 high (8.26%).

 

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 1.5% of 2012 births were the result of ART therapies alone.  Recent declines in triplet/HOM birth rates have been linked to changes in ART procedures.

Infants born in twin, triplet and HOM deliveries are at higher risk of adverse birth outcomes compared to singletons.  In 2014, 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 135,336 infants born in twin deliveries in 2014, an increase over 2013, but lower than the number of twins reported during the peak years of 2006-2009.

The 2014 twin birth rate was 33.9 per 1000 total births, which was not significantly higher than the rate for 2013 (33.7), but it was a new high for the nation. 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).

Twinning rates were essentially unchanged from 2013 to 2014 among non-Hispanic white women (36.7 per 1000 for 2014) and Hispanic women (24.1 per 1000), but rose 4% among non-Hispanic black women (40.0 per 1000).  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 4,233 infants born in triplet deliveries in 2014; 246 quadruplets; and 37 quintuplets or more.

The triplet and higher order multiple birth rate declined another 5% from 2013 to 2014, from 119.5 to 113.5 per 100,000 births.  The 2014 triplet/HOM birth rate is the lowest in 20 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 rate of triplet/HOM births among non-Hispanic white women was 140.9 per 100,000 in 2014, which was not significantly different from 2013 (147.2), but was down 46% from 1998 (262.8).  The triplet/HOM rate declined among non-Hispanic black women from 106.7 to 89.7 from 2013 through 2014; the change in the rate for Hispanic women (71.4 to 64.3) was not statistically significant.

The 4,526 births in triplet/HOM deliveries was the lowest number reported since 1993, and included 4,233 triplets, 246 quadruplets, and 47 quintuplets/higher-order multiple.

 

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

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