Thanks to a combination of less sex and more contraception, the teen birth rate in the United States has now dropped to half the rate reported in 1991. “More kids are delaying sex, which is a good and responsible thing to do, and the kids who are having sex are using contraception more consistently and carefully, also a good and responsible thing to do,”said Bill Albert, a spokesman for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
However, the breakdown of statistics still shows there is a great deal of work to be done. Hispanic teens were at the top of the list with 46.3 births per 1,000 for young women aged 15 to 19; 43.9 per 1,000 for black teens; 34.9 for American Indian or Alaska Native; 20.5 for whites and 9.7, for Asian or Pacific Islanders. So as much as education, contraception and smarter practices among today’s teens are helping, more work needs to be done specifically in the Hispanic and African American communities to bring the rate down.
To put the numbers into perspective, there were almost 4 million births in the U.S. in 2012. There were a reported 750,000 teen pregnancies and of those, 300,000 resulted in births.
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Image courtesy of pulse.seattlechildrens.org.