Teen Birth Rate Drops to Historic Low

According to new government data the teen birth rate is at an all-time low across the country. The information comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics and was released Friday.

Findings show that the birth rate for teenagers 15-19 years was down 6 percent in 2012, that’s 29.4 births per 1,000 teenagers in that age range. Rates dropped for younger and older teenagers and for nearly all race groups.

Teen childbearing has been on the decline in the U.S. since the 1950s; however the U.S. teen birth rate is still higher than most other industrialized countries. The cost of babies being born to teenagers is hefty. According to government figures, associated public costs are estimated at $10.9 billion annually.

Teens getting the message on how to prevent pregnancy may be credited with the birth rate declines. Data have shown increased use of contraception and use of dual methods of contraception (condoms and hormonal methods) among sexually active teens.

The birth rate for women in their early twenties also declined last year, to a new record low of 83.1 births per 1,000 women. Meanwhile, birth rates for women in their thirties and early forties rose.

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Liz Hayes
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