April 5, 2011

US Teen Birth Rate Lowest On Record In 2009

A report released on Tuesday said that the U.S. teen birth rate dropped to the lowest level on record in 2009 but remains one of the highest in developed countries.

A report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that in 2009, about 410,000 teenage girls aged 15 to 19 years gave birth in the U.S., making the national teen birth rate at about 39 births per 1,000 females.

The CDC report is the second report in months after a National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) report in early February provided similar data.

The CDC and NCHS reports said that teen childbearing has long raised concerns among health officials and policymakers for several reasons, including that babies born to teens are more likely to be underweight or preterm than infants born to older women, and are more likely to die during infancy.

"Teen childbearing also perpetuates a cycle of disadvantage: teen mothers are less likely to finish high school, and their children are more likely to have low school achievement, drop out of high school, and give birth themselves as teens," the CDC report said.

"Each year, teen childbearing costs the United States approximately $6 billion in lost tax revenue and nearly $3 billion in public expenditures. However, these costs are $6.7 billion lower than they would have been had teen childbearing not decreased."

The CDC report said that the U.S. teen birth rate remains one of the highest in developed countries.

The U.N. Demographic Yearbook 2008 said the teen birth rate was 14 percent in Canada, five percent in Japan, and about six percent in Singapore.

About 10 babies were born to every 1,000 girls age 15 to 19 in France and Germany in 2008.

The highest teen birth rate in Europe was in Bulgaria, where 43.4 babies were born per 1,000 teen girls in 2008.


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