Teenaged birth rate at historic low

September 10, 2013

The birth rate for teenagers in the United States continued to fall in 2012, reaching 29.4 births per 1,000 girls aged 15 to 19 years, which represents a 6% decrease from 2011 and a historic low for the nation, according to the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

The birth rate for teenagers in the United States continued to fall in 2012, reaching 29.4 births per 1,000 girls aged 15 to 19 years, which represents a 6% decrease from 2011 and a historic low for the nation, according to the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report, “Births: Preliminary Data for 2012,” documents that since 2007, the birth rate among teenaged girls has dropped about 30% (from 41.5 births per 1000) and is now about half the 61.8 births per 1,000 rate from 1991.

Unfortunately, the birth rate for the youngest teenagers, those aged 10 to 14 years, remained stable at 0.4 births per 1,000 in 2012. However, because the number of girls in this age group declined slightly, the number of births to these girls declined as well to 3,674, which is the fewest births to girls aged younger than 15 years since 1945.

From 2011 to 2012, birth rates fell by 8% for 15- to 17-year-olds and by 5% for 18- to 19-year-olds, making the total drops since 1991 at 63% and 45%, respectively.

Looking at racial and ethnic differences, declines from 2011 to 2012 for 15- to 19-year-olds ranged from 3% for American Indian/Alaska Native teens to 5% to 7% for non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, Asian and Pacific Islander, and Hispanic teens. The largest decline since 2007 occurred among Hispanic girls, down 39% to 46.3 per 1,000 in 2012.

The effects of teenaged pregnancy are far reaching. According to the CDC, in 2008, teenaged pregnancy and childbirth cost US taxpayers about $11 billion per year. Only about half of all teenaged moms receive a high school diploma by age 22 years. The children of teenaged mothers are more likely to have lower school achievement, drop out of high school, have more health problems, be incarcerated during adolescence, give birth as a teenager, and face unemployment as an adult.

 

 

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