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In 2003, HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson approved the revision to the U.S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth and encouraged all states to adopt it. The process involved in this revision, as well as details of what was revised, can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vital_certificate_revisions.htm.

Texas adopted the new U.S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth in 2005. This revision includes changes to items such as onset of prenatal care, maternal smoking history, race/ethnicity, etc. For details regarding race/ethnicity computation for birth data, see Table 44.

Births and Birth Rates

There were 382,438 live births to Texas residents in 2012, an increase of 1.4 percent (5,164 more births) from 2011, and an increase of 1.3 percent (5,064 more births) from 2003.

Figure 4

(Figure 4 data)

In the ten-year period from 2003 through 2012, the proportion of births to white* mothers increased from 40.6 percent of all births in 2003 to 40.9 percent in 2012. At the same time, the proportion of births to Hispanic mothers decreased from 48.4 percent of births in 2003 to 47.8 percent in 2012. The number of Hispanic births has exceeded the number of white* births since 1998. The proportion of births to black mothers increased from 11.1 percent in 2003 to 11.3 percent in 2012.

* Includes women of other and unknown race/ethnicity.

The 2012 crude birth rate of 14.7 births per 1,000 Texas residents is the lowest on record. The crude birth rate remained unchanged from 2011. The rate for whites* dropped from 12.7 in 2003 to 12.0 in 2012. The crude birth rate for blacks declined from 16.4 in 2003 to 14.4 in 2012. The Hispanic rate also declined from 24.2 to 18.3.

Figure A

(Figure A data)

The general fertility rate for Texas, which is the number of live births to Texas residents per 1,000 women ages 15 through 44, was 70.0 in 2012. In 2003, it was 76.7 (Figure B). Like crude birth rates, race/ethnicity-specific general fertility rates have been highest among Hispanics and lowest among whites* (Figure B). In 2003, the general fertility rates of whites*, black, and Hispanics were 61.3, 67.6, and 100.9, respectively. In 2012, fertility rates for white* females increased slightly to 62.9 while the rates for Black and Hispanic females decreased to 63.1 and 79.8, respectively.

Figure B

(Figure B data)

Mother’s Age and Father’s Age

More than half (53.3 percent) of Texas resident live births in 2012 were to mothers 20 to 29 years of age, and nearly one-quarter (23.0 percent) were to mothers 30 to 34 years old (Table A). Mothers aged 10-17 accounted for 3.5 percent of the births in 2012, compared to 3.9 percent in 2011. The percentage of mothers aged 18 and 19 also decreased from 7.6 percent in 2011 to 7.2 percent in 2012. The percentage of births to mothers 30-34 increased from 22.3 percent in 2011 to 23.0 percent in 2012 and births to mothers aged 35-39 likewise increased from 10.3 percent in 2011 to 10.5 percent in 2012.

Age

White*

Black

Hispanic

All Races

10-14

0.0

0.2

0.2

0.1

15-19

5.9

12.1

14.2

10.6

20-24

20.0

32.3

28.7

25.5

25-29

30.5

25.6

26.0

27.8

30-34

28.6

19.1

19.1

23.0

35-39

12.2

8.5

9.5

10.5

40+

2.9

2.3

2.2

2.5

* Includes women of other and unknown race/ethnicity.

** Denominator for percent excludes missing data.

Note: due to rounding, percents may not sum to 100%

Table A.1. Percent of Live Births** by Mother's Age Groups and Race/Ethnicity
Texas Residents, 2012

Age

White*

Black

Hispanic

All Races

10-17

1.5

3.8

5.2

3.5

18-19

4.4

8.5

9.2

7.2

20-29

50.4

57.9

54.7

53.3

30-34

28.6

19.1

19.1

23.0

35+

15.0

10.8

11.8

13.0

* Includes women of other and unknown race/ethnicity.

Note: Due to rounding, percents may not sum to 100%

Table A.2. Percent of Live Births for Selected Mother's Age Groups by Race/Ethnicity
Texas Residents, 2012

Mothers' ages ranged from 10 to 63 years; the mean mother's age was 27.2 years. Among birth certificates that included information on the father's age (85.8 percent of all birth certificates), fathers ranged in age from 13 to 77. The mean father's age was 30.2 years.

Age-specific birth rates, calculated as the number of live births per 1,000 women in the specified age group, were highest among women aged 25-29, followed by women aged 20-24 for all races combined (Table B). Hispanic women aged 20-24, followed by Hispanic women aged 25-29 and black women aged 20-24 had the highest age-specific birth rates for individual race/ethnicities. White women were the only race/ethnicity whose highest age-specific birth rate occurred in the 25-29 age group. Age-specific birth rates for Hispanics were higher than rates for whites or blacks at every age group except 10-14 years and 30-34 years. Whites in the youngest three age groups had the lowest fertility; blacks had the lowest fertility in the remaining age groups.

Table B. Age-Specific Birth Rates1 by Race/Ethnicity
(Live Births Per 1,000 Women in the Race/Ethnicity and Age Group)
Texas Residents, 2012

Age

White*

Black

Hispanic

All Races

10-14

0.2

0.8

0.8

0.6

15-19

23.1

43.0

59.9

42.3

20-24

80.7

118.4

132.9

108.5

25-29

113.4

99.9

126.2

117.1

30-34

104.7

71.8

92.1

95.4

35-39

46.9

33.9

47.6

45.6

40-44

9.3

8.2

11.4

10.0

All ages^

62.9

63.1

79.8

70.0

* Includes women of other and unknown race/ethnicity.

^ The general fertility rate. Numerator includes mothers of unknown ages; denominator is women 15-44 years of age.

1. Rates were calculated using population data from the Texas State Data Center. Births of unknown race/ethnicity, and of racial/ethnic groups other than white, black or Hispanic were included with white for the purposes of calculating birth and fertility rates.

Marital Status

Overall, 57.7 percent of mothers reported being married. However, there were large differences in marriage rates across age groups and race/ethnicities (Table C). In general, white mothers were most likely to be married and black mothers least likely to be married. Very few mothers aged 14 and younger were married. The likelihood of being married generally increased with the mother's age for all race/ethnicities, although marriage rates for most mothers dropped slightly at age 40 and up.

Age

White*

Black

Hispanic

All Races

10-14

2.9

0.0

0.8

0.9

15-19

17.6

3.4

15.0

14.1

20-24

50.0

15.1

37.6

38.4

25-29

80.3

40.0

57.3

65.8

30-34

89.4

58.0

68.0

78.0

35-39

89.2

66.2

70.4

78.9

40+

87.4

71.2

70.8

78.7

All ages^

74.4

33.8

49.1

57.7

* Includes women of other and unknown race/ethnicity.

** Denominator for percent excludes missing data.

^ Numerator and denominator include mothers of unknown ages.

Table C. Percent Married** by Mother's age and Race/Ethnicity
Texas Residents, 2012

Prenatal Care

Beginning with 2001 data, Vital Statistics annual reports do not include tables or data based on the Kessner Index. (These data may still be obtained by request.) Please see the sources at the end of this chapter for more information regarding strengths and weaknesses of various prenatal care utilization indexes 1, 2 . The Kessner index data in Table 13 has been replaced with data on the mother's marital and educational status.

This annual report still includes data on the month in which prenatal care began because it is one of the indicators suggested by the CDC's Healthy People 2020 initiative 3. However, due to implementation of a new birth certificate for 2005 data, onset of prenatal care within the first trimester is not directly comparable to years prior to 20054.

The percentage of mothers beginning prenatal care in the first trimester decreased from 63.0 percent in 2011 to 62.6 percent in 2012 (Table D). Only 4.2 percent of mothers did not receive prenatal care in 2012. White* women were more likely than black or Hispanic women to have early onset of prenatal care.

Trimester

White*

Black

Hispanic

All Races

1st

70.7

53.1

57.8

62.6

2nd

21.7

31.7

29.3

26.4

3rd

5.0

9.5

7.6

6.8

No care

2.6

5.7

5.4

4.2

* Includes women of other and unknown race/ethnicity.

** Denominator for percent excludes missing data.

Note: due to rounding, percents may not sum 100%.

Table D. Percent of Live Births** by Trimester Prenatal Care Began
Texas Residents, 2012

Place of Delivery and Birth Attendant

Nearly all Texans who gave birth in 2012 did so in a hospital (98.8 percent). A small number occurred in licensed birthing centers (0.6 percent) or at home (0.5 percent), or other locations (negligible).

Physicians delivered 95.3 percent of infants born to Texas residents. Certified nurse-midwives attended 3.1 percent of all births and lay midwives attended 0.7 percent. The remainder, about 0.9 percent, were delivered by other types of attendants, such as EMS workers or relatives.

Low Birth Weight and Very Low Birth Weight

There were 31,647 low birth weight (<2,500 grams) infants born to Texas residents in 2012, which is 8.3 percent of live births (Table E). The rate was 8.5 percent in 2011. Since 2003, low birth weight infants have increased from 7.9 percent to 8.3 percent of live births.

The risk of giving birth to a low birth weight infant remains much higher for black mothers (13.9 percent) than for Hispanic mothers (7.5 percent) or white mothers (7.6 percent). The incidence of low birth weight infants is higher among the youngest and oldest mothers. In 2012, 10.7 percent of births to mothers ages 14 and younger and 12.8 percent of births to mothers ages 40 and older were low birth weight.

A total of 5,651 births (1.5 percent of live births) were very low birth weight (<1,500 grams). This rate is slightly higher than the rate since 2003 (1.4 percent). As with low birth weight, the risk of having a very low birth weight infant was highest for black mothers, for mothers aged 10-14 years, and mothers aged 40 and up. The percentage of births to women 40 and over is up from 2003, when 2.1 percent of the women in that age group gave birth to very low birth weight infants.

 

Very Low Birth Weight
(<1,500 grams)

Low Birth Weight
(<2,500 grams)

Race/
Ethnicity

Number of
Births

Percent of
Births

Number of
Births

White*

1,951

1.2

11,910

Black

1,372

3.2

5,994

Hispanic

2,328

1.3

13,743

All Races

5,651

1.5

31,647

* Includes women of other and unknown race/ethnicity.

Table E.1. Low Birth Weight and Very Low Birth Weight by Mother's Race/Ethnicity
Texas Residents, 2012

 

Very Low Birth Weight
(<1,500 grams)

Low Birth Weight
(<2,500 grams)

Age

Number of
Births

Percent of
Births

Number of
Births

Percent of
Births

10-14

12

2.2

58

10.7

15-19

620

1.5

3,605

8.9

20-24

1,297

1.3

7,960

8.2

25-29

1,445

1.4

8,037

7.6

30-34

1,309

1.5

7,071

8.0

35-39

719

1.8

3,695

9.2

40+

249

2.6

1,219

12.8

Unknown

0

0.0

2

40.0

Total

5,651

1.5

31,645

8.3

Table E.2. Low Birth Weight and Very Low Birth Weight by Mother's Age
Texas Residents, 2012

Other Birth Characteristics

In 2012, male infants accounted for 51.1 percent of all births (195,525) and female infants accounted for 48.9 percent (186,913). The majority of all births were either first children (38.5 percent) or second children (30.7 percent). Third children accounted for 17.9 percent of all births, fourth children 7.9 percent, and fifth children 3.0 percent.

There were 370,174 singleton births, accounting for 96.8 percent of all births. Twin births accounted for 3.1 percent of all births. All other multiple births occurred in less than 0.2 percent of all births.


  1. Kogan MD, Martin JA, Alexander GR, Kotelchuck M, Ventura SJ, Frigoletto FD. The changing pattern of prenatal care utilization in the United States, 1981-1995, using different prenatal care indices. JAMA, 279:1623-1628.
  2. Alexander GR, Kotelchuck M. Quantifying the adequacy of prenatal care: a comparison of indices. Public Health Rep 1996 Sep-Oct;111(5):408-18.
  3. Technical Appendix from Vital Statistics of the United States, 2004. Natality in the Documentation of the Detail Natality Public Use File for 2004

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2012 Natality Narrative

 

Last updated August 13, 2015