“The major finding is that the fertility rates are reaching record lows,” said the report’s lead author, Brady Hamilton, a statistician and demographer at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. “There have been record lows in the teenage birth rate, which fell 7 percent compared to 2017.”
Hamilton and his colleagues found that the total number of births in 2018, at 3,788,235, was down 2 percent from 2017. The general fertility rate for 2018 was 59.0 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, another record low for the U.S.
For perspective, it’s lower than in the years after the Great Depression. In 1936, for example, the general fertility rate was 75.6.