Teen Birth Rate Cut in Half: U.S. Teen Births at Record Low

Sep 06 2013

(Washington, DC)--The teen birth rate in the United States has been cut in half over the past 21 years, according to data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. Since its high water mark in 1991, the teen birth rate in the U.S. declined 52% between 1991 and 2012. The U.S. teen birth rate is now at a historic low for the nation.

"The stunning turnaround in teen births is truly one of the nation's great success stories of the past two decades," said Sarah Brown, CEO of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. "Clearly, progress can and has been made on a pressing social problem that many once considered intractable and inevitable. The credit for this good news goes to teens themselves.

"Rather than slowing down, the new data show that the pace of progress seems to be accelerating. Since 2007, the teen birth rate has plummeted by almost one-third.

"It is also important to note that although the progress the nation has made has been wide and deep--there have been gains in all 50 states and among all racial/ethnic groups--the nation's teen birth rate remains far too high, U.S. rates are considerably higher than in other countries, and great racial/ethnic disparities continue." Other findings from the new data include:

  • Between 1991 and 2012, the birth rate declined 63% for non-Hispanic black teens, 56% for Hispanic teens, and 53% for non-Hispanic white teens.
  • The 6% decline in the teen birth rate in 2012 comes on the heels of an 8% decline in 2011 and a 9% decline in 2010.
  • In 1991 the birth rate was 61.8 births per 1,000 teen aged 15-19; in 2012 it was 29.4. Visit www.cdc.gov/nchs to see the entire NCHS report.

Visit www.TheNationalCampaign.org for more information about teen pregnancy and childbearing, tips for parents, and other resources.

About The National Campaign: The National Campaign is a private, non-profit organization that seeks to improve the lives and future prospects of children and families by preventing teen and unplanned pregnancy. Please visit www.TheNationalCampaign.org to find out more.

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