Birth Rate of Triplets and Higher Multiples at a 20-year Low
According to a recently released report by the CDC, the birth of twins reached an all-time record number in 2014. 2014 saw 33.9 sets of twins per 1,000 births, versus 33.7 in 2013. It is believed that the increase is due to the increase in birth rates for older women. Scientist believe older women are actually more likely to have twins. They are also more likely to use IVF fertilization to conceive.
The birth rate of triplets and higher multiples declined 5% from 2013 to 2014, from 119.5 to 113.5 per 100,000 births. The 2014 triplet/+ birth rate is the lowest in 20 years and is down more than 40% from the 1998 peak (193.5). The triplet/+ birth rate (number of triplets, quadruplets, and quintuplets and other higher-order multiples per 100,000 births) rose more than 400% from 1980 to 1998 (but has trended downward since, with average annual declines of more than 4% reported since 2004.
While use of IVF fertilization is viewed as a contributing factor to the rise in the birth of twins, changes in IVF procedures is credited for the decline in the rate of triplets and higher multiples.