A New Record Low; U.S. Teen Births Fall 8% in 2015

Jan 05 2017

(Washington, DC)—New data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirm preliminary findings that teen birth rates in the United States have reached another record low after an 8% decline in 2015. 

“The great national success story of teens and young adults choosing to delay parenthood continues,” said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.  “This is terrific news for everyone.  Babies fare better when born to parents ready for the task of raising the next generation.  Teens and young adults are more likely to achieve their goals and dreams when they are prepared for parenthood.” 

According to the newly released data, there are 22.3 births per 1,000 girls age 15-19, which represents a 46% decline since 2007 and a 64% decline since the peak year of 1991.  Nearly three-quarters (73%) of teen births in 2015 were to 18- and 19-year-olds.  Teen birth rates declined in 37 states and were essentially unchanged in the other 13 states and the District of Columbia.

Declines in teen births were seen among all racial/ethnic groups in 2015:

  • For non-Hispanic White teens, rates fell 8%
  • For non-Hispanic Black teens, rates fell 9%
  • For Hispanic teens, rates fell 8%
  •  For American Indian and Alaska Native teens, rates fell 6%
  • For Asian or Pacific Islander, rates fell 10%

Birth rates for women in their early 20s also declined 3% to a record low of 76.8 births per 1,000 women; the rate for women in this age group has declined steadily since 2006.  Births to unmarried women in their 20s also declined for the seventh straight year.

“Today’s good news strongly suggests that when young people are able to plan their futures on their own terms and obtain sexual health information and birth control, it benefits all in our society,” Ehrlich said.  “Our goal should be to continue expanding such access so that everyone has the power to decide if and when to get pregnant.”

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.  

A group of teenage girls