Here’s a Whole Bunch of Interesting Facts and Figures About Births and Babies

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Let us continue our year-end search for random things to write about because nothing important is happening. Did you know that the number of twin births has been rising steadily for the past three decades? It has. And the number of triplet births skyrocketed through 1998, but has been dropping ever since.

This comes from the CDC’s final report on births for 2014, which is chock full of everything you might want to know about US birth and fertility rates. The increase in triplet births is most likely due to the rising use of fertility therapies, and the drop after 1998 is likely due to improvements in fertility therapies. The reason for the steady increase in twins is less clear, since it seems too large to be accounted for by fertility treatments.

Interestingly, blacks have the highest twin rate and Hispanics have the lowest. For triplets, whites have the highest rate—probably because the triplet rate is influenced by expensive fertility treatments, which whites are more able to afford than others. Other statistics for 2014:

  • Number of cesarean births: 32 percent
  • Number of babies that are firstborns: 38.8 percent
  • Number of babies that are 8th-borns or higher: 0.5 percent
  • State with the most births: California
  • State with the highest birth rate: Utah
  • State with the lowest birth rate: New Hampshire
  • Births to unmarried women: 40.2 percent
  • Number of mothers with weight gain of less than 11 pounds: 8.7 percent
  • Number of mothers with weight gain of more than 40 pounds: 21.6 percent
  • Number of births in hospitals: 98.5 percent
  • Number of births 3+ weeks early: 9.5 percent
  • Number of babies with very low birthweight: 1.4 percent
  • Number of black babies with very low birthweight: 2.9 percent
  • Teen birth rate: 2.45 percent, yet another record low

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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