The Final Birth Data for 2008 was recently published by the National Center for Health Statistics. The 105-page report is filled with dozens of maternal and infant demographic characteristics such as maternal age and method of delivery as well as infant birth weight and term of gestation. But the most interesting facts contained in the document are the ones surrounding twin births. Here are some highlights.
- 138,660 twins were born in 2008. That’s slightly down from the 138,961 born in 2007 but since the total fertility rate declined in the United States by 2 percent from 2007 (I guess a bad economy is a real mood breaker), the twin birth rate actually rose by 1 percent to 32.6 per 1,000 live births!
- With 138,660 live twin births for 2008, this is the highest number on record. Furthermore, this comes as a total surprise since the twin birth rate had stabilized from 2004 through 2007 partially due to guidelines from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine advocating reducing the number of embryos implanted during in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
- The preterm birth rate (less than 37 weeks) declined for a second straight year to 12.3 percent, a drop of 3 percent from the previous year.
- The lowbirth weight rate (infants that weigh less than 2,500 grams or 5 lbs 8 oz) was down as well, but only slightly to 8.12 percent. (Only 1 percent of singletons but 10 percent of twins and 36 percent of triplets were born at less than 1,500 grams or 3 lbs 4 oz.)
- Yet the rate of delivery by cesarean for both singleton and multiple delivery increased for the 12th straight year to 32.3 percent.
- The state with the highest twinning rate is New Jersey. The lowest? New Mexico. The state with the highest rate of triplets goes to New Jersey (again). Alaska has the lowest incidence of triplets.
If your twins were born in 2008, where do they fit into this list?