Teen birth rates dropped 57% from 1991 to 2012

Behavioral changes in sexual activity and contraceptive use have contributed to the overall drop in teen pregnancies.

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HealthDay News -- Teenage pregnancy rates in the United States have consistently decreased from 1991 to 2013, according to a report from the United States National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

The United States spent an estimated $9.4 billion on teen childbearing costs in 2010. Reducing the teen birth rate is estimated to have saved nearly $12 billion in tax dollars.

“The vast majority of births to teen mothers (89% in 2013) are to unmarried teens, reinforcing the more limited resources and supports available for the mothers and their infants,” wrote Stephanie J. Ventura, from the NCHS in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues.

There was a 57% reduction in the birth rate for teenagers in the United States from 1991 to 2012. The largest decrease was found in non-Hispanic black teens, and rates across race and Hispanic ethnic groups decreased. There were an estimated four million fewer teen births from 1992 through 2012 as a result of the decreasing rates.

"The declines in teen birth rates reflect a number of behavioral changes, including decreased sexual activity, increases in the use of contraception at first sex and at most recent sex, and the adoption and increased use of hormonal contraception, injectables, and intrauterine devices," noted the researchers.

References

  1. Ventura S et al. “National and state patterns of teen births in the United States, 1940–2013." National Vital Statistics Reports. 2014; Vol 63(4).
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