May 10, 2024 - News

Ohio's C-section birth rate is rising

Line chart showing the annual share of babies delivered by cesarean section in Ohio and the U.S. from 2016 to 2023. In 2016, 31.9% of U.S. babies were delivered by c-section, compared to 32.4% in 2023. In Ohio, the share changed from 30.8% to 31.5% in the time period.
Data: CDC; Chart: Axios Visuals

The rate of cesarean births in Ohio is rising, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control.

Why it matters: While generally safe — and sometimes necessary for the health of the baby or the mom — a C-section is a major abdominal surgery that tends to require a longer recovery for the mother.

By the numbers: Nearly 40,000 Ohio babies were born via C-section in 2023, a rate of 31.5%.

  • That's well above the 10-15% rate that the WHO considers "ideal."

Zoom out: The national C-section delivery rate increased in 2023 to 32.4%, up from 32.1% in 2022, according to provisional CDC numbers.

  • That's the highest rate since 2013, and the fourth annual increase after the rate generally declined from 2009 to 2019, says the CDC.

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