C-sections rates at U.S. hospitals in 2017 by state

Among all U.S. states, Nebraska had the highest hospital-based Cesarean section delivery rate as of 2017, with 34 percent of births being delivered via Cesarean section. Cesarean section rates were calculated for first-time, low-risk mothers. Nebraska’s Cesarean section rate is significantly higher than the U.S. target. According to recent data, over half of U.S. hospitals have C-section delivery rates higher than the national U.S. targets.

Risks of Cesarean section

A Cesarean section (or C-section) is a surgical procedure for delivering babies in which a baby is delivered by being removed through the abdomen as opposed to being delivered vaginally. Most deaths due to childbirth in the U.S. are preventable. However, women that deliver via C-section are more prone to specific health risks including, infection, excessive bleeding, and damage to the bladder, kidneys and other internal organs. While cost may not directly affect health, the risk of financial troubles based on medical expenditures is also an issue with C-section deliveries. The U.S. has some of the highest costs globally for C-section deliveries.

High U.S. Cesarean section rates

Among all OECD countries the United States raked among the top five for highest rates of cesarean section deliveries. The number of C-sections performed in the U.S. has dramatically increased since 1997. Among mothers in the U.S., older women have higher rates of C-section delivery.

Cesarean section rates among births to first-time, low-risk mothers in U.S. hospitals as of 2017, by state*

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Release date

May 2017


United States

Survey time period

as of 2017

Supplementary notes

* Data is for first-time mothers-to-be who should be at low risk for a cesarean: pregnant women expecting just one child (not twins, triplets, or other multiples) and whose baby is full-term and is positioned head first—the position least likely to require a C-section.
* No data available.

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Statistics on "Cesarean sections"

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