Teen Pregnancy Rates Down
A new study, titled “U.S. Teen Pregnancies, Births and Abortions, 2008: National Trends by Age, Race and Ethnicity” published by the Guttmacher Institute, has found teen pregnancy to be down among all racial groups.
Teen pregnancies are at their lowest rates in 40 years, according to the latest numbers dating 2008 which is when the latest statistics were given.
According to the report, in 2008 teens were pregnant at a rate of 67.8 pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15-19, or around 7 percent of teenage girls were pregnant that year. This is a 42 percent decline from 1990 when the rate peaked at 116.9 per 1,000 girls.
Also the teen birthrate fell 35 percent between 1991 and 2008 from 61.6 births to 40.2 births per 1,000 teens. Following the declines is also the teen abortion rate, it declined 59 percent from 43.5 abortions per 1,000 girls in 1988 to 17.8 per 1,000 girls in 2008.
The report notes that there is also racial differences among teenage girls. Even though there are dramatic reductions in teen pregnancies across the board, in racial minority populations the pregnancy rates are 2 to 3 times as high of non-hispanic whites.
The teen pregnancy rate peaked in the early 1990’s and since then the rate has dropped by 37 percent among Hispanics, 48 percent among blacks and 50 percent among non-hispanic whites.
This trend in the minority population also follows the abortion rate. The researchers report that the abortion rates among Hispanics were twice the rate of whites and blacks experience four times as many abortions as whites.
Kathryn Kost, the lead author of the study says, “The recent declines in teen pregnancy rates are great news. However, the continued inequities among racial and ethnic minorities are cause for concern. It is time to redouble our efforts to ensure that all teens have access to the information and contraceptive services they need to prevent unwanted pregnancies.”
The rate of decline in teen birthrates has come about because more teens are practicing safer sex practices, especially improved use of contraceptives. Teens may also be doubling up on protection and increasing use of the most effective contraceptives creating lower pregnancy and abortion rates in the teen population.
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