Brady E. Hamilton and Paul D. Sutton of the Division of Vital Statistics at the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said since the historic U.S. peak in 2007 the U.S. birth trend was down until 2011 and remained flat in 2012.
The provisional U.S. fertility rate in 2012 was 63.2 births per 1,000 women ages 15-44, unchanged from the rate in 2011. Like the number of births, the trend in the fertility rate was down, having declined steadily from the recent high of 69.3 in 2007 through 2010 but slowing from 2010-11 and unchanged from 2011-12, the report said.
Provisional counts of births for 2012 were based on a combination of counts of events provided by each reporting area, and registered vital events processed into National Center for Health Statistics data files for the 12 months ending in December 2012.
In 1910, there were 2.7 million births, which rose until the Depression when birth count dropped to 2.4 million in 1935, but it rose again during World War II. During the baby boom, 1946-1964, U.S. births went from 2.85 million in 1945 to 4 million in 1964 -- peaking in 1957 at 4,308,000 births.