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After increasing for several years, the number of births in the US declined slightly in 2001. Consider the most recent statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- In 2002, 4,021,726 babies were born in the US.
- The median age for women having their first baby is 25.1 years, compared with 24.8 years in 2001.
- Birth rates for women 35 to 39 (41 births per 1,000 women) and 40 to 44 (eight births per 1,000 women) were the highest in more than three decades.
- The birth rate for teenagers, ages 15 to 19 years, dropped 5 percent between 2001 and 2002. The current rate for teens is 43 births per 1,000 teens.
- In 2002, the twin birth rate continued to rise, increasing 3 percent between 2001 and 2002. The current rate is 31 twin births per 1,000 women.
- The preterm birth rate (less than 37 weeks in the womb) was 12.1 percent in 2002.
- Cesarean deliveries increased 7 percent from 2001 to 2002 to reach a rate of 26.1 percent of all births.
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