Baby Facts

Amazing Baby Birth Facts

We’re sharing the most interesting baby birth facts using concrete data and interactive charts. Here’s answers to some of your top baby and maternity questions.

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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 hours sifting through it to pull out the most important and incredible baby statistics to share with you.

The information presented below is based on the final data published for the years 2007-2018 (latest data available). We will continue to maintain this page as the CDC and other agencies publish information for the most current years.

Birth Facts from the Past Decade (2007-2018)

Average Births Per Year

4,007,687

Change in Annual Births from 2007 to 2018

There has been a significant drop in annual births over the past decade. There was a 12.9% decrease between 2007 (4,316,233 births) and 2018 (3,791,712 births).

This has been a fairly consistent trend for several decades and doesn’t show signs of slowing down.

Birth Rates

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 14.33 while 2018 had the lowest birth rate in history at just 11.59 per 1,000 people.

In comparison, the birth rate in the 1950s was around 24.26 per 1,000 individuals. 

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.

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.

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.

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 (505502)
2 – Texas (392574)
3 – New York (240152)
4 – Florida (221918)
5 – Illinois (161393)
6 – Pennsylvania (142708)
7 – Ohio (140649)
8 – Georgia (134359)
9 – North Carolina (122664)
10 – Michigan (115105)
11 – New Jersey (105855)
12 – Virginia (103395)
13 – Arizona (88302)
14 – Washington (88157)
15 – Indiana (84523)
16 – Tennessee (81649)
17 – Missouri (76403)
18 – Maryland (73797)
19 – Massachusetts (72899)
20 – Minnesota (69764)
21 – Wisconsin (68001)
22 – Colorado (66446)
23 – Louisiana (63304)
24 – Alabama (60231)
25 – South Carolina (58588)
26 – Kentucky (56179)
27 – Oklahoma (52924)
28 – Utah (51562)
29 – Oregon (45757)
30 – Mississippi (40079)
31 – Kansas (39492)
32 – Iowa (39193)
33 – Arkansas (38791)
34 – Connecticut (37213)
35 – Nevada (36610)
36 – New Mexico (26809)
37 – Nebraska (26325)
38 – Idaho (23043)
39 – West Virginia (20309)
40 – Hawaii (18577)
41 – Maine (12922)
42 – New Hampshire (12734)
43 – Montana (12210)
44 – South Dakota (12099)
45 – Delaware (11241)
46 – Alaska (11149)
47 – Rhode Island (11124)
48 – North Dakota (10128)
49 – District of Columbia (9324)
50 – Wyoming (7524)
51 – Vermont (6010)

Cesarian 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%

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.

Birth LocationAverage Annual Births
Hospital3,954,068
Home34,400
Freestanding Birth Center15,957
Clinic / Doctor Office442
Other2,620
Not Stated195

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.

Breastfeeding Moms

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.

Conclusion

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

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