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Pediatrics. 2010 Jan;125(1):4-15. doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-2416. Epub 2009 Dec 21.

Annual summary of vital statistics: 2007.

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  • 1Division of Vital Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Maryland 20782, USA.


The number of births in the United States increased between 2006 and 2007 (preliminary estimate of 4,317,119) and is the highest ever recorded. Birth rates increased among all age groups (15 to 44 years); the increase among teenagers is contrary to a long-term pattern of decline during 1991-2005. The total fertility rate increased 1% in 2007 to 2122.5 births per 1000 women. This rate was above replacement level for the second consecutive year. The proportion of all births to unmarried women increased to 39.7% in 2007, up from 38.5% in 2006, with increases noted for all race and Hispanic-origin groups and within each age group of 15 years and older. In 2007, 31.8% of all births occurred by cesarean delivery, up 2% from 2006. Increases in cesarean delivery were noted for most age groups and for non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic women. Multiple-birth rates, which rose rapidly over the last several decades, did not increase during 2005-2006. The 2007 preterm birth rate was 12.7%, a decline of 1% from 2006. The low-birth-weight rate also declined in 2007 to 8.2%. The infant mortality rate was 6.77 infant deaths per 1000 live births in 2007, which is not significantly different from the 2006 rate. Non-Hispanic black infants continued to have much higher rates than non-Hispanic white and Hispanic infants. States in the southeastern United States had the highest infant and fetal mortality rates. The United States continues to rank poorly in international comparisons of infant mortality. Life expectancy at birth reached a record high of 77.9 years in 2007. Crude death rates for children aged 1 to 19 years decreased by 2.5% between 2006 and 2007. Unintentional injuries and homicide were the first and second leading causes of death, respectively, accounting for 53.7% of all deaths to children and adolescents in 2007.

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