At first glance, the 2013 estimate of births in the United States might seem ho-hum. The number changed little: the 3,957,577 estimate of 2013 was only 4,736 greater than the 3,952,841 of 2012 and remained at a level 8 percent below the all-time high of 4,316,233 in 2007.
On second glance, the estimate is startling. Although the overall number of births held steady, the fertility rate fell to a new all-time low of 62.9 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44. This is 9 percent below the rate of 69.3 in 2007. Even more startling is the plummeting fertility of young women. In 2013, the fertility rate of women in three age groups--15 to 19, 20 to 24, and 25 to 29--fell to new record lows. In other words, never before have young women had so few children.
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