Bookmark and Share

facebook twitter youtube
flickr linkedin wordpress

 

 

 

 



..
 

<< back to Supertwins Statistics main page

Supertwins Statistics

 General Facts about Multiple Births

According the the Centers for Disease Control's National Vital Statistics Report Births: Final Data for 2007:

  • 32.2 twin births occur per every 1,000 total live births
  • 1.489 triplet or higher order birth occur per every 1,000 total live births

In 2007, 145,388 live multiple birth babies were born in the United States:

  • 138,961 Twins
  • 5,967 Triplets
  • 369 Quadruplets
  • 91 Quintuplets and Above

The upsurge in multiple births prior to 2005, particularly higher order multiples, has been attributed to older age at childbearing (women in their thirties are more likely than younger women to conceive multiples spontaneously) and the growing availability and use of fertility treatments both assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as in vitro fertilization), and non-ART therapies such as ovulation-inducing drugs and artificial insemination. Less than 20 percent of all triplets/+ born between 1997–2003 are estimated to have been naturally conceived. (Source #4)

In response to the rise in higher order multiple births, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine published guidelines in the late 1990s (later updated), intended to reduce the incidence of triplets/+ resulting from ART by limiting the number of embryos transferred. Since the guidelines were implmented, the birth rate and number of births for triplets or more has declined. In fact, the 2007 triplet+ birth rate was the lowest number reported in more than a decade and over 20% lower than the 1998 peak in higher-order multiples.

 

Multiple Births by Year and Type (Infants)
Year
Twins
Triplets*
Quads
Quints+
Source #
1980 68339 1337     4
1982 70049 1385     4
1982 71631 1484     4
1983 72287 1575     4
1984 72949 1653     4
1985 77102 1925     4
1986 79483 1814     4
1987 81778 2139     1
1988 85315 2385     1
1989 90118 2529 229 40 1
1990 93865 2830 185 13 1
1991 94779 3121 203 22 1
1992 95372 3547 310 26 1
1993 96445 3834 277 57 1
1994 97064 4233 315 46 1
1995 96736 4551 365 57 1
1996 100750 5298 560 81 1
1997 104137 6148 510 79 1
1998 110670 6919 627 79 1
1999 114307 6742 512 67 1
2000 118916 6742 506 77 1
2001 121246 6885 501 85 1
2002 125134 6898 434 69 1
2003 128665 7110 468 85 2
2004 132219 6750 439 86 2
2005 139816 6208 418 68 3
2006 137085 6118 355 67 4
2007 138961 5967 369 91 5

*Note: triplet data for 1980-1988 includes all triplet+ births

Sources:

1. United States Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Division of Vital Statistics, Natality public-use data 1995-2002, on CDC WONDER On-line Database

2. United States Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Division of Vital Statistics, Natality public-use data 2003-2004, on CDC WONDER Online Database

3. United States Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Division of Vital Statistics, Natality public-use data 2003-2005, on CDC WONDER Online Database

4. Martin JA, Hamilton BE, Sutton PD, Ventura SJ, et al. Births: Final data for 2006. National vital statistics reports; vol 57 no 7. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2009. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_07.pdf

5. Martin JA, Hamilton BE, Sutton PD, Ventura SJ, Mathews TJ, Kirmeyer S, Osterman MJK. Births: Final data for 2007. National vital statistics reports; vol 58 no XX. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2010. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr58/nvsr58_24.pdf

 

See our Supertwins 101 FAQs: Expecting Multiples for more interesting information!

 

So what are the odds of spontaneous or identical multiples?

According to mathematical probabilities, the estimated odds in the United States of having spontaneous multiples (of any zygosity) are as follows:

Twins

 1 in 83 pregnancies

Triplets

 1 in 6,889 pregnancies

Quadruplets

 1 in 571,787 pregnancies

Quintuplets

 1 in 47,458,321 pregnancies

Sextuplets

 1 in 3,939,040,643 pregnancies

The odds of having monozygotic (all identical) multiples are as follows:

Twins

 1 in 250 pregnancies

Triplets

 1 in 62,500 pregnancies

Quadruplets

 1 in 15,625,000 pregnancies

Quintuplets

 1 in 3,906,250,000 pregnancies

For more information about monozygotic multiples, see the following MOST Supertwins 101: FAQs:

17. What is the difference between identical or fraternal multiples?

18. Do identical multiples present additional risks during pregnancy?

19. How can I tell if my multiples are identical or fraternal?

 

 
MOST Advertisers and Donation Affiliate Programs

Donate to MOST

Affiliate Program: iGive

HONcode certification seal.

MOST complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. Verify here.