CDC Report Shows Teen Birth Rates Are Declining
May 23, 2013

CDC Report Shows Teen Birth Rates Are Declining

Lee Rannals for — Your Universe Online

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teen birth rates have dropped by 15 percent for all but two states.

The CDC said teen birth rates dropped steeply in the US from 2007 through 2011, reaching a record low of 31.3 percent. All states but West Virginia and North Dakota showed significant drops over five years, while Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada and Utah saw rates drop by 30 percent or more.

Decline rates were steepest for Hispanic teenagers, averaging 34 percent for the US, followed by 24 percent for black teenagers and 20 percent for white teenagers.

"The long-term difference between birth rates for non-Hispanic black and Hispanic teenagers has essentially disappeared, and by 2011 their rates were similar," the CDC said.

CDC said if teen birth rates by age and race and Hispanic origin of mother had remained at their 1991 levels, an estimated 3.6 million more births to teenagers would have occurred from 1992 through 2011. The experts say a number of factors have contributed to the declines in teen birth rates, including strong teen pregnancy prevention messages.

"The latest data from the National Survey of Family Growth show increased use of contraception at first sex and the use of dual methods of contraception (that is, condoms and hormonal methods) among sexually active female and male teenagers," the CDC said. "Recent data from the Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance Survey also show wide variation across states in the extent to which sexually active teenagers are using the most effective methods of contraception."

The organization used data from the Natality Data File from the National Vital Statistics System, which includes information for all births that occur in the US. The natality files include information on a wide range of maternal and infant demographic and health characteristics for babies born in the US. The files are available from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics website.

Previous reports looked at the variations in rates across states within race and Hispanic groups, but this most recent report shows the extent to which declines in birth rates by race and Hispanic origin have varied across states.

"In general, declines have been widespread across all states, with the largest declines generally observed in the Southeast, Mountain, and Pacific states," the CDC said.

The CDC released a report back in April that said teen girls who have already given birth are more likely to have another baby in their teen years. The organization said nearly one in every five children born to an American teen, aged 15 to 19, also had an older sibling waiting at home.