U.S. Hits Record High In Twin Birth Rates

Tara Dodrill - Author

Dec. 29 2015, Updated 5:36 a.m. ET

U.S. twin birth rates are on the rise. A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offered a detailed glimpse into the birth and pregnancy statistics in America. The country has experienced a record twins birth rate, with a total of 33.9 of every 1,000 births bringing forth two bundles of joy.

The last CDC birth rates study found that 33.7 percent of births in the United States involved twin babies. Although the 2014 increase is only a slight one, the statistics do indicate that the trend remains not just steady, but on the rise. Every year since 1980, when 18.9 per 1,000 births involved twins, the need for a double stroller has grown each year.

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The reasons behind the “twinning trend” remain unclear. There were about four million births in the U.S. in 2014, and 135,336 of the labors resulted in twins. The rate of twins born to black women increase the most from 2013. African-American twin births two years ago occurred in 38.3 of every 1,000 births. The 2014 CDC birth rates study revealed that every 40 per 1,000 births were of twin babies. The rate of twin births to white and Hispanic women for the same time period went basically unchanged.

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During twin births or any multiple births, additional risks to both the babies and the mother are posed, according to an MSN report. Last year, a little more than half of twin births resulted in babies who had a low birthweight and were delivered prematurely. About 10 percent of the babies in this category were deemed to have an “extremely low birthweight.” When babies are born early and have a below normal weight, both short and long-term “health complications,” such as obesity and heart disease, could occur.

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“The rise in multiple birth rates has been associated with expanded use of fertility therapies [ovulation-inducing drugs and assisted reproductive technologies (ART)] and older maternal age at childbearing,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. “An estimated 1.5 percent of 2012 births were the result of ART therapies alone.”

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Although the U.S. had hit a record high twin birth rates, the same cannot be said for the birth of triplets. About 113.5 births of every 1,000 feature three or more new babies coming into the world within moments of each other. The CDC birth rate statistics indicates a 5 percent drop from triplets born in 2013.

Between 2007 and 2014, the overall birth rate in America dropped by 42 percent. The CDC birth rates study also reports that during that same time period, more than 20 states experienced a 30 to 39 percent decrease in birth rates. States included on this list include Ohio, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, and Tennessee. Just three states experience a birth rate decline of 50 percent of more. The states with a significant drop in birth rates include Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Colorado. More than 20 states and Washington D.C. experienced a birth rates drop of 40 percent or more.

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Teen pregnancy rates of American young women between the age of 15 and 19 dropped by 9 percent since the 2013 report was issued last year. The average age of a first time mommy in 2014 was 26.3 percent — a.3 percent increase from the prior reporting year. A total of 34.9 per 1,000 births of babies to teen mothers age 15 to 19 were to African-American women. Every 17.3 of 1,000 births for the same age bracket were to white women. A total of 38.9 per 1,000 teen mom births were to Hispanic women in 2014. A small percentage of births to tweens and teens between the ages of 10 and 14 also occurred. A total of.6 per 1,000 of these birth were to black girls and young women,.1 per the same number of births were to white girls and young women, no additional racial breakdown was noted by the CDC for this age demographic.

A total of 43.9 percent per 1,000 of births were to unwed mothers in 2014, a decrease from the last CDC report. The study also found that babies born to unwed mothers most frequently occurred in women aged 15 to 44. A total of 743 babies were born to women age 50 or older in 2014.

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