Healthbeat 4: U.S. fertility rates hit a record low - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Healthbeat 4: U.S. fertility rates hit a record low

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(CNN) -

The general fertility rate tells us how many children are being born into a given population during a specific period of time.

New numbers show that U.S. fertility is now at the lowest yearly rate since records started being kept more than a century ago.

The National Center for Health Statistics analyzed birth certificates across the country.

Researchers found that  for women aged 15-to-44, there were 61.5 births for every 1,000 women during the year that ended in the first quarter of 2017.

That number represents a significant decline from the previous 12-month period.

Then, the rate was a whole percentage point higher -- 62.5 births per 1,000 women.

The report says the decrease is greater than what would be produced by pure chance.

However U.S. fertility rates have been going down for years. They've been in steady decline since the baby boom that occurred after World War II.

At its height in 1957, the fertility rate in the United States was nearly double what it is now -- 122.9 births for every 1,000 women.

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