Last Updated on July 22, 2020
Each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes reports and data regarding various aspects of maternity and birth in the United States.
Let me tell you, it’s more data than you can imagine. We know this because we’ve spent many hours sifting through it to pull out the most important and incredible baby statistics to share with you.
We are currently searching for reliable international birth data to identify global trends. We’ll be updating this page as new data comes along that would be interesting to report on.
Most Common Birth Day
We compiled publicly available data from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Social Security Administration which provided nearly three decades worth of birth data. Surprisingly, several points remained fairly consistent over 29 years of data between 1969-1988 and 1994-2014.
Some of the major highlights:
- September 9th was the most common birthday in the data available.
- August and September on average have more births per month.
- Fall and early winter (October-January) is baby-making season based on the data.
- National holidays see major drops in births with more deliveries scheduled around those days.
- February 29th is the least common birthday since it only occurs during leap years and parents likely avoid having a “leapling”.
To visualize this, here is a heat map showing how common birthdays are based on average counts by day of the year.
Note: For a better viewing experience on mobile devices, rotate your screen or go to the next table.
Search for your birth month and day to see where your birthday ranks!
U.S. births data for the years 1969-1988 and 1994 to 2003 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.
U.S. births data for the years 2000 to 2014 provided by the Social Security Administration.
U.S. births data for 1989-1993 was not readily available at the time of publication.
Birth Facts from 2007-2019
The information presented below is based on the final published data for 2007-2018 and provisional data for 2019 (latest data available). We will continue to maintain this page as the CDC and other agencies publish information for the most current years.
Average Births Per Year
The average number of births in the United States has been just under 4 million babies since 2007. It’s expected this number will continue trending lower in the coming years.
Average Births Per Year: 3,987,522
Change in Annual Births
There has been a significant drop in annual births over the past decade. There was a 13.2% decrease between 2007 (4,316,233 births) and 2019 (3,745,540 births).
This has been a fairly consistent trend for several decades and doesn’t show signs of slowing down.
The number of births per 1,000 individuals in the United States has steadily decreased over the past decade.
The birth rate in 2007 was 14.3 while 2019 had the lowest birth rate in US history at just 11.4 per 1,000 population.
In comparison, the birth rate in the 1950s was around 24.3 per 1,000 individuals.
Like the birth rate, the total fertility rate (births per 1,000 women aged 15-44) in the United States has been consistently decreasing.
The fertility rate in 2007 was 69.3 while 2019 had a significantly lower fertility rate at just 58.2. Basically, women that are of childbearing age are giving birth about 16% less than they were in 2007.
That may not seem like a big deal, but it’s part of an international trend of falling fertility rates. It’s forecasted that this will cause the global population to shrink in the coming centuries.
Most Popular Birth Month
August is the most popular month for giving birth over the past decade. The month has on average about 16.4% more births than February, which is the lowest birth month on the calendar.
However, the top 2 (August & July) are only separated by on average 6,774 births per month and the top 5 (August & May) by just 24,792 births per month.
While it’s clear winter is the prime baby-making season, surprisingly births are spread relatively evenly across the year.
It’s worth noting that September would likely be the top birth month if it had the extra day of data that both August and July have.
Most Popular Birth Day of the Week
When it comes to the day of the week either baby or mom decides it’s time, we see some relatively large differences.
Tuesday and Wednesday are typically the busiest days for baby deliveries.
Weekends, on the other hand, are clearly not the top pick when it comes to giving birth.
This is likely due to the increase in scheduled C-sections or induced births in recent decades. These are often scheduled during weekdays due to the doctor’s availability and to reduce hospital crowding over the weekend.
States with Most & Fewest Births
California wins this round by a wide margin. The top 5 states each has large metropolitan cities with dense populations that drive up the birth numbers.
At the bottom, you have smaller and less populated states like Vermont, Wyoming, and North Dakota.
Where does your state rank?
State Rankings by Birth Volume
1 – California (505,502)
2 – Texas (392,574)
3 – New York (240,152)
4 – Florida (221,918)
5 – Illinois (161,393)
6 – Pennsylvania (142,708)
7 – Ohio (140,649)
8 – Georgia (134,359)
9 – North Carolina (122,664)
10 – Michigan (115,105)
11 – New Jersey (105,855)
12 – Virginia (103,395)
13 – Arizona (88,302)
14 – Washington (88,157)
15 – Indiana (84,523)
16 – Tennessee (81,649)
17 – Missouri (76,403)
18 – Maryland (73,797)
19 – Massachusetts (72,899)
20 – Minnesota (69,764)
21 – Wisconsin (68,001)
22 – Colorado (66,446)
23 – Louisiana (63,304)
24 – Alabama (60,231)
25 – South Carolina (58,588)
26 – Kentucky (56,179)
27 – Oklahoma (52,924)
28 – Utah (51,562)
29 – Oregon (45,757)
30 – Mississippi (40,079)
31 – Kansas (39,492)
32 – Iowa (39,193)
33 – Arkansas (38,791)
34 – Connecticut (37,213)
35 – Nevada (36,610)
36 – New Mexico (26,809)
37 – Nebraska (26,325)
38 – Idaho (23,043)
39 – West Virginia (20,309)
40 – Hawaii (18,577)
41 – Maine (12,922)
42 – New Hampshire (12,734)
43 – Montana (12,210)
44 – South Dakota (12,099)
45 – Delaware (11,241)
46 – Alaska (11,149)
47 – Rhode Island (11,124)
48 – North Dakota (10,128)
49 – District of Columbia (9,324)
50 – Wyoming (7,524)
51 – Vermont (6,010)
Births by Gender
So, which gender is taking over?
Neither really. The split between Boy vs. Girl is pretty close.
However, it’s interesting to note there hasn’t been a single year where more girls than boys have been born in the last decade. Where’s the equality?
Note: Data is based on the gender assigned to the baby at birth.
Average Birth Weight
The average birth weight for newborns has remained fairly consistent for a long time. In general, most babies are around 7 pounds at birth.
Pre-mature babies may be 1-2 pounds lighter while late babies can be a couple pounds heavier since they’re just fattening up in the last weeks.
Average Baby Birth Weight: 7 pounds 3 ounces (115.2 ounces / 3,265 grams)
Average Age of Mother at Birth
The average age of mothers giving birth has continually risen over the past decade. This is likely the result of more women continuing to pursue higher education and build careers for themselves.
It’s also partially due to couples wanting to delay starting a family until they’re financially secure, which takes time after finishing school.
Single vs. Multiple Births
There are on average 3,869,875 single births and 137,812 multiple births (twins or more) each year. This means about 3.44% of the total births result in parents bringing home more than one newborn.
Hopefully they’ve purchased one of those big double strollers and multiples of just about everything else.
Triplets, Quadruplets, or Higher Multiples
Similar to the overall birth trends, the number of multiples is decreasing as well. In most years, a little over 3% of the total annual births involve the delivery multiple babies.
Top Delivery Locations
Without question hospitals are where the vast majority of births occur. This is increasingly the case with scheduled inductions and C-sections for higher risk deliveries.
However, it’s interesting to note that over 30,000 births occur in the comfort of home. This is a combination of parents choosing to do a natural birth at home and instances where the baby comes too fast to get to the hospital.
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Marital Status of Moms
This one has remained pretty consistent over the past decade. About 58-60% of babies are born each year from mothers that are married at the time of delivery.
Education Level of Mother
Most babies are born from mothers that have completed high school, have some college education (no degree), or have earned a bachelors degree.
Unsurprisingly, the least number of babies are born from mothers with a masters degree or doctorate education. This is due to the longer time period to earn a degree and some may prioritize a career over starting a family.
Cesarean (C-Section) vs. Vaginal Birth
Vaginal births continue to be the primary method of delivery. C-sections have become more safe over the years, but are generally only done when baby or mother is at-risk.
Percent cesarean delivery: 31.9%
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for about the first 6 months and up to one year old while you introduce other foods. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends at least 6 months and up to two years old.
However, we know there are a variety of personal or health reasons why you can’t, don’t want to, or possibly shouldn’t breastfeed. This isn’t always an easy decision to make.
According to the latest CDC Breastfeeding report from 2018, here’s where things stand with the percent of infants breastfeeding in the United States:
Babies that are breastfed:
- Ever – 83%
- At 6 months – 57.3%
- At 1 year – 36.2%
- Exclusively for 3 months – 47.5%
- Exclusively for 6 months – 25.4%
It’s clear the majority of mothers attempt to follow the WHO’s recommendation to breastfeed. However, this isn’t always an option for all mothers due to medical challenges or personal preference.
That’s our report on the most interesting US birth facts to help future and new parents understand the data.
Needless to say, these are all averages across the millions of US births each year. Every single birth and family situation is unique, so don’t stress if your not “average”.
Leave us a comment to share your favorite birth fact or let us know which other baby birth facts you’d be interested in.
Citation: United States Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Division of Vital Statistics, Natality public-use data 2007-2018, on CDC WONDER Online Database, September 2019. http://wonder.cdc.gov/natality-current.html