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Birth rate up in the U.S. for first time since 2007

Birth rate in the U.S. rose in 2014 for the first time since 2007, specifically among women from in their 30s and 40s, and across most racial groups.
Birth rate in the U.S. rose in 2014 for the first time since 2007, specifically among women from in their 30s and 40s, and across most racial groups.
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Birth rate in the U.S. rose in 2014 for the first time since 2007, specifically among women in their 30s and 40s and across most racial groups, according to data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The number of births in the U.S. in 2014 was 3,985,924, increasing by 1 percent from 2013, the census found.

Births among most racial groups rose, with a 1 percent increase for non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics from 2013 to 2014, and 6 percent increase among Asian and Pacific Islander women. However, births for American Indians and Alaska Native women fell 2 percent.

So, why are more people choosing to have children?

An author of the study, Brady Hamilton, warned that "researchers did not collect data on why people made certain decisions when considering having a child, adding that these findings are likely due to a 'cacophony of factors,'" wrote USA Today on the study.

However, some believe when the recession hit in 2008, many people felt less financially secure, and, therefore, decided it wasn't as fiscally responsible to have children.

"The decline of the birth rate over the past few years can be attributed to the recession," said Carl Haub, a senior demographer for the Population Reference Bureau. "The recession is ending — we think it's ending — for some people, so we might attribute a rise in the birth rate" to the economy, USA Today reported.

Birth rate for U.S. teenagers in 2014 also dropped, to a historic low with 24.2 births per every 1,000 women ages 15 to 19, and 79 births per 1,000 women in their early 20s, reported The Washington Post.

"While this decline has been attributed to things like teens waiting to have sex and teens using birth control, health officials are still worries about the quarter of a million babies born to teens each year," wrote The Post.

Though the rate of first births for all women went down to reach a record low, those women in their 30s saw a rise in first births. Those having their second, third and fourth children also rose by 1, 2 and 3 percent respectively, the CDC reported.

A study released in May found more highly educated women and women in their later childbearing years, were choosing to have more children, a trend that has been occurring over the last few decades, as reported by Deseret News National.

"Childlessness has actually declined in recent years, even though we've been hearing so much about annual fertility going down, the fact is that more women, near the end of their childbearing years, are experiencing motherhood than what was the case even 10 years ago," a researcher in the study said.

Another trend among women who are choosing to have babies in the U.S. is the choice to have a midwife rather than a physician help with the care before and during labor and delivery, reported The Atlantic.

In 1989, the first year there was data available on the topic, 3 percent of births in the U.S. were under the care of midwife, while, in 2013, that number was closer to 9 percent, wrote The Atlantic.

"According to (Eugene Declercq, a professor of community health sciences at Boston University), the high rates of surgery and other unneeded interventions have led to increased interest in the midwifery model, which is lower-tech, less invasive and less inclined toward intervention without a clear medical need," according to The Atlantic.

Email: mmorgan@deseretnews.com, Twitter: @mandy_morg