Health & Food

Teen pregnancies in the US are at record low

Thursday, April 07, 2011
Teen pregnancies in the U.S. are at a record low, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Teen pregnancies in the U.S. are at a record low, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (KABC Photo)

Teen pregnancies in the U.S. are at a record low, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC says teen births dropped 37 percent nationwide over the last two decades to an all-time low in 2009.

In 1991, out of every 1,000 females, 61.8 births were teen pregnancies. The rate dropped to 39.1 births per 1,000 women.

Although the U.S. has made progress in reducing teen pregnancy, the CDC says it's not enough. The percentage is still nine times higher than other developed countries.

And despite the plunge, roughly 410,000 teen girls gave birth in 2009 at an estimated cost of $9 billion to U.S. taxpayers.

About 1,100 teenage women give birth every day. According to the CDC, that means one out of every ten new mothers is a teenager.

Nearly two-thirds of births to women younger than 18, and more than half of those among 18 and 19 year olds, are unintended.

The report looked at data from 1991 to 2009 and found that in addition to the steady decrease in the rate of teen pregnancies, there's also been a decrease in the percentage of high school students even having sex.

More teens are using contraception, too. The CDC says the percentage of students who had sexual intercourse in the past three months without using any type of contraception decreased from 16 to 12 percent.

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