Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth, 2000. PF 1.6 Number of Births

01/01/2000

In 1999, there were nearly 4.0 million births in the United States. Twenty-seven percent of the births were to women ages 25 to 29, 25 percent were to women 20 to 24, and 23 percent were to women 30 to 34 years of age. The percentage of births occurring to older women (those 30 and older) has increased since the mid-1980s. In 1980, 20 percent of all births were to women ages 30 and older. In 1999, the proportion of all births to women age 30 and older had increased to 36 percent. About 60 percent of all births were to white nonHispanic women, 15 percent to black women, and 19 percent to women of Hispanic origin (see Table PF 1.6).

Most births are to women who have at least a high school degree. In 1998, 22 percent of births were to women who had less than a high school education, 33 percent were to high school graduates, and 46 percent were to women with one or more years of college (see Table PF 1.6).

Table PF 1.6. Percentage of births in the United States by mother's age, race and Hispanic origin, and education level: Selected years, 1990- 1999

  1990 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
  Total number 4,158,212 3,899,589 3,891,494 3,880,894 3,941,553 3,957,829
Age of mother
  Ages 15-19 13% 13% 13% 13% 12% 12%
  Ages 20-24 26 25 24 24 24 25
  Ages 25-29 31 27 28 28 27 27
  Ages 30-34 21 23 23 23 23 23
  Ages 35-39 8 10 10 11 11 11
  Ages 40-44 1 2 2 2 2 2
Race and Hispanic origin
Whitea 64 61 61 60 60 59
Blacka 16 15 15 15 15 15
Hispanicb 14 17 18 18 19 19
Education level
Less than high school 24 22 22 22 22
Completed high school 38 34 33 32 33
Some college 20 22 22 22 22
Four + years of college 18 21 22 22 23

a Estimates for whites and blacks do not include persons of Hispanic origin. In 1999 figures for black women include Hispanics. Hispanics may be of any race.

b Births by Hispanic origin are based on 48 states and the District of Columbia in 1990; and 50 states and the District of Columbia in 1995 through 1997.

Sources: Curtin & Martin, 2000; Ventura, et al., 2000, Births, Tables 17, 18, 19 and 21; Ventura, et al., 1999, Births, Tables 2, 17, and 21; Ventura, et al., Natality 1996; Ventura, et al., 1997, Tables 2, 6, and 21; Ventura, et al., 1997, Natality 1995, Tables 2, 6, 14, and 18; National Center for Health Statistics, 1994, Vital Statistics, Table 1-35; also, 1985, Table 1-54, 1980, Table 1-54, and 1970 editions of this annual report.; National Center for Health Statistics, 1987, Natality, Monthly Vital Statistics Report, 36(4, Supp), Table 2, and Monthly Vital Statistics Report, 31(8, Supp.), Table 2; Ventura, 1983, Table 2; Center for Disease Control, National Center for Health Statistics, 1974, Table 2.

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