Twin birth rates in the United States 1980-2018, by ethnicity

In the United States, non-Hispanic black women currently have higher rates of twin births than any other ethnicity or race. There are two types of twins, identical and fraternal. Identical twins form when one fertilized egg splits and develops two babies, while fraternal twins form from two eggs that are fertilized by two sperm. Fraternal twins, although born at the same time, are no more alike than siblings born at different times.

Twin births in the United States

The birth rate for twins in the United States has increased over the past few decades, with around 32.6 twin births per 1,000 live births in 2018. Factors that increase the odds of having a twin birth include race, genetics, the number of previous pregnancies, assisted reproductive techniques, and the age of the mother. Those aged 45 to 54 years have a significantly higher twin birth rate than younger women in the U.S. The states with the highest average twin birth rates include Connecticut, District of Columbia, Michigan, and Illinois.

Birth rates in the United States

As is the case in many other developed countries, the birth rate in the United States has steadily decreased. In 2018, there were around 11.6 births per 1,000 population, compared to 16.7 births per 1,000 population in the year 1990. Unsurprisingly, the birth rate is highest among women aged 20 to 34 years, however women are increasingly having birth later in life.

Twin birth rates in the United States between 1980 and 2018, by ethnicity

All racesNon-Hispanic whiteNon-Hispanic blackHispanic
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Release date

November 2019


United States

Survey time period

1980 to 2018

Supplementary notes

* 1980 data by race and Hispanic origin are based on a 22-state reporting area representing approximately 90% of births for that year.
All races: Includes races other than white and black and origin not stated.
Race and Hispanic origin are reported separately on birth certificates. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. Race categories are consistent with 1977 Office of Management and Budget standards. Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia reported multiple-race data for 2015 that were bridged to single-race categories for comparability with other states.
Hispanic: Includes all persons of Hispanic origin of any race.
Statistic is compiled from previous "Birth" reports from the CDC.

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Statistics on "Births in the U.S."

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