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Teen Pregnancy and Births

Teen Pregnancy and Births

Facts at a Glance:

  • About 1 million teenage girls in the U.S. (which is about 10% of the girls age 15-19) become pregnant each year.
  • It is estimated that approximately 1/3 of pregnant teens have abortions, 14% have miscarriages, and 52% give birth.
  • About 72% of teens who give birth are not married.
  • About 75% of teens who give birth are first-time mothers.
  • Over 175,000 of the teens who give birth each year are under the age of 18.
  • Eighty percent of young teenage moms end up in poverty and on welfare.
  • The sons of young teenage moms are 2.7 times more likely to end up in prison than sons born to girls who did not bear children until they were at least 20.
  • If teenage girls would delay childbearing until the age of 20.5, the incarceration rate across the U.S would decrease by 3.5%. This would amount to a long-range savings of one billion dollars in correctional costs and three billion dollars in law enforcement costs.
  • If teenage girls delayed childbearing until after the age of 21, the rate and costs would be reduced even further. In addition, if less of these young men are incarcerated, then they are able to better contribute to the support of their own children.
  • A study in Illinois found that children of teenage mothers are twice as likely to be abused and neglected than are children of 20 or 21 year old mothers. It is estimated that as many as 5% of foster-care placements would not be needed if teenage childbearing were eliminated.

Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention — Fact Sheet #50, Jan. 1997, Adolescent Motherhood: Implications for the Juvenile Justice System by Rebecca A. Maynard, Ph.D., and Eileen M. Garry

Table 1. Teen pregnancy and births by age and race.
Characteristics of the adolescent Teen pregnancy in 1996 Teen births in 2000

# of teen pregnancies

Pregnancy rate (per 1000)

# of teen births

Birth rate (per 1000)

% of teens giving birth who were not married

Subsequent teen births

Age

           

Under 15

   

8,519

1

   

13-14

 

6

       

15-17

337,530

62

157,209

25 (2001)

88%

11%

18-19

542,640

153

311,781

76 (2001)

74%

27%

15-19

880,170

97

477,509

45

79%

21%

Race/Ethnicity

           

White (15-19)

404,840

66

204,056

34

73%

18%

Black (15-19)

225,270

179

118,954

81

96%

26%

Hispanic (15-19)

192,232

165

129,469

93

73%

24%

Native American

   

8,055

68

86%

24%

Asian/Pacific

Islander

   

8,968

22

71%

20%

Source:  National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 51, No. 2, Dec. 18, 2002 (pp5-6)

Site:  www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr51/nvsr51_02.pdf

 

 

Table 2. Teen births by mother's age, 2002 and 2001.

Teen Births in 2001 and 2001

# of births, 2002

birth rate, 2002

# of births, 2001

birth rate, 2001

10-14 years

7,318

0.7

7,781

0.8

15-19 years

424,670

42.9

445,944

45.3

15-17 years

138,296

23.2

145,324

24.7

18-19 years

286,374

72.7

300,620

76.1

Source: National Vital Statistics Reports

For State and Local Data on Teen Pregnancy and Births, check out the following:

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

This site has state data on teen pregnancy in 1996 and teen birth data for 2000 as well as a great deal of other information. Click on the grey box which says "state profile," then choose a state. Browse the data by clicking on the categories on the left side of the screen. To compare statistics for several states at the same time, click the grey box entitled "state by state comparison" and then browse the categories.

National Vital Statistics Reports

This report has several detailed tables which include information on teen births by state. Click on "detailed tables" to find links and descriptions of all the tables.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation

This site provides lots of child well-being data (which sometime includes teen birth rates) for states, counties, and some cities. Click on "Profiles" and then follow the directions to choose the region in which you are interested.

For more updated data, try checking out your state’s Department of Health website. They may have state and county data on teen pregnancy or teen births.

Facts at a Glance:

  • The birth rate for girls age 10-14 was .8 per 1000 in 2001, as girls in this age range gave birth to 7,781 babies.
  • The rate of teen pregnancies was 92.5 per 1000 for teens age 15-19 in 1997    
  • Abortion statistics for 1998 and 2000 show that the rate of abortions among teenage girls has decreased in recent years.  (Herndon J, Strauss LT, Whitehead S, et al.  “Abortion surveillance – United States, 1998.”  In:  CDC surveillance summaries, April 13, 2002.  MMWR 51(No.SS-3):1-32.  2002. Jones RK, Darroch JE, Henshaw SK.  Patterns in the socioeconomic characteristics of women obtaining abortions in 2000-2001.  Perspective on Sexual and Reproductive Health.  34(5):226-35.  2002.)

Source:  National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 51, No. 2, Dec. 18, 2002 (pp5-6)

Site:  www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr51/nvsr51_02.pdf