US Teen Birth Rates Reach Lowest Level Since the 1940's: A Statement from The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

Oct 03 2012

(Washington, DC) -- The U.S. teen birth rate declined 8 percent in 2011, according to new data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. Since the recent peak in 1991, the teen birth rate has declined 49 percent and declined a full 25 percent between 2007 and 2011 alone. The overall national teen birth rate as well as rates for all age groups and all racial/ethnic groups are at historic lows.

"The continued decline in the nation's teen birth rate has been positively breathtaking and the credit for this remarkable national success story goes to teens themselves," said Sarah Brown, CEO of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

Details from the report include:

  • The teen birth rate for girls age 15-19 decreased 8% between 2010 and 2011, from 34.2 births per 1,000 to 31.3 per 1,000. This is following a 10% decline between 2009 and 2010. Teen birth rates are at their lowest levels since NCHS began tracking teen childbearing in the 1940s.
  • The birth rate for girls age 10-14 remained unchanged between 2010 and 2011 at .4 per 1,000, an historic low for this age group. The birth rate for girls age 10-14 has declined 71% between 1991 and 2011, and has declined by 33% since 2007 alone.
  • The birth rate for girls age 15-17 decreased 11% between 2010 and 2011 (from 17.3 per 1,000 to 15.4 per 1,000). The birth rate for this age group declined 60% between 1991 and 2011, and has declined by 29% since 2007 alone.
  • The teen birth rate for girls age 18-19 decreased 7% between 2010 and 2011 (from 58.2 per 1,000 to 54.1 per 1,000). The birth rate for this age group declined 42% between 1991 and 2011, and has declined by 25% since 2007 alone.
  • The birth rate for non-Hispanic white teens age 15-19 decreased 7% between 2010 and 2011 (from 23.5 per 1,000 to 21.8 per 1,000). The birth rate for this group declined by 50% between 1991 and 2011, and has declined by 20% since 2007 alone.
  • The birth rate for non-Hispanic black teens age 15-19 decreased 8% between 2010 and 2011 (from 51.5 per 1,000 to 47.4 per 1,000). The birth rate for this group declined by 60% between 1991 and 2011, and has declined by 24% since 2007 alone.
  • The birth rate for Hispanic teens age 15-19 decreased 11% between 2010 and 2011 (from 55.7 per 1,000 to 49.4 per 1,000). The birth rate for this group declined by 53% between 1991 and 2011, and has declined by 34% since 2007 alone.
  • The birth rate for American Indian or Alaska Native teens age 15-19 decreased 6% between 2010 and 2011 (from 38.7 per 1,000 to 36.2 per 1,000). The birth rate for this group declined by 57% between 1991 and 2011, and has declined by 27% since 2007 alone.

Read the full report here. Get more information on teen and unplanned pregnancy here.

About The National Campaign: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy seeks to improve the lives and future prospects of children and families.Our specific strategy is to prevent teen pregnancy and unplanned pregnancy among single, young adults.We support a combination of responsible values and behavior by both men and women and responsible policies in both the public and private sectors.If we are successful, child and family well-being will improve.