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U.S. Teen Birth Rate Lowest In 20 Years

Agnus Dei Farrant |
November 22, 2011 | 4:30 p.m. PST

Assistant News Editor

(Photo courtesy of Creative Commons).
(Photo courtesy of Creative Commons).
The rate of U.S. teens giving birth has decreased during the past 20 years and hit a record low in 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Nov. 17.

The CDC released the information in a report titled, “Births: Preliminary data for 2010.” The report was based on 100 percent of 2010 births and compared with 2009 data.

The birth rate for teens 15 to 19 years old decreased 9 percent. It was the largest single year decline since 1946-1947, the report states. The overall rate has decreased 44 percent from 1991.

Bill Albert, spokesman for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, told Reuters that it was a dramatic one-year decrease. He said an increase in school sex education and the slow economy may be primary reasons for the decrease.

Albert also attributed the decline to reality television shows about teen pregnancy, saying they give teens a “sobering look at the reality of being a parent.”

Birth rates for women in their 20s and 30s dropped in 2010, also. The only age group with an increase in births was women in their 40s.

The CDC website states that teen pregnancy is a priority due to its high economic, social and health costs on teen parents and their families. U.S. teen birth rates are nearly 9 times higher than in most other developed countries.

The website also states that Hispanic and black teen girls are 2-3 times more likely to give birth than white teen girls. Approximately 50 percent of teen mothers get their high school diploma by the age of 22 compared with 90 percent of teens that aren’t mothers.

 

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Reach assistant news editor Agnus-Dei Farrant here.

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