• Need more information on these or other topics? Ask an information specialist at (312) 422-2050 or rc@aha.org

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 330 other followers

  • Share this blog

    Share |
  • Note:

    Information posted in this blog does not necessarily represent the views of the American Hospital Association
  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Top Posts

  • Top Rated Posts

OBSTETRICS: C-section rate expected to be 27 to 30 percent

The rate of cesarean deliveries is currently around one-third of all deliveries in the U.S. and is expected to remain in the range of 27 to 30 percent for the near term.  In about 15 years, the rate may drop to 20 to 25 percent.  Factors responsible for the continued “upward pressure” on the C-section rate include maternal age, obesity and diabetes.

Source: Clapp, M.A., and Barth, W.H., Jr. (2017, December). The future of cesarean delivery rates in the United States. Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology, 60(4), 829-839.  Click here for publisher’s website: http://journals.lww.com/clinicalobgyn/Abstract/2017/12000/The_Future_of_Cesarean_Delivery_Rates_in_the.17.aspx  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

BIRTHS: About one-third of all births are C-sections


In the United States, about one-third of all live births today are via cesarean section, according to national data from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.  The most current statistic is:  32.2 percent in 2014, compared to what is described as the peak of 32.9 percent in 2009.  When the data are analyzed according to race/ethnicity, the group with the highest percentage of c-sections is non-Hispanic black women (35.6 percent in 2014).

Source: Martin, J.A., Hamilton, B.E., and Oserman, J.K. (2015, Sept.). Births in the United States, 2014. NCHS Data Brief, 216.  http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db216.pdf Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org


A separate report from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that in the ’90s, the c-section rate was much lower – holding at about 20 to 23 percent overall.

Source: Hamilton, B.E., Martin, J.A., Osterman, M.J.K., and others. (2015, Dec. 23). Births: Final data for 2014. National Vital Statistics Report. 64(12). http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_12.pdf   Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

C-section rate rises to about one-third of births: US 2009

Percent Cesarean Delivery Rate (Average): US 2009

  • 32% small hospitals
  • 32.3% medium hospitals
  • 33.4% large hospitals
  • 32.6% teaching hospitals
  • 31.7% rural hospitals
  • 32.8% ALL hospitals

This article provides similar breakdowns for the rate of lower-risk C-section deliveries, which averages 12 percent for all hospitals.

These rates are drawn from a nationally representative sample of hospitals that had 100+ births in 2009.  The data source is the Nationwide Inpatient Sample of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.  The C-section rate has been increasing–it was 20.7 percent of all deliveries in 1996. 

Source: Kozhimannil, K.B., Law, M.R., and Virnig, B.A.  Cesarean delivery rates vary tenfold among US hospitals: reducing variation may address quality and cost issues.  Health Affairs;32(3):527-535, Mar. 2013.  Click here for full text: http://cfpcwp.com/MCDG/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Health-Aff-2013-Kozhimannil-527-35.pdf  Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org