KIDS COUNT Data Check: Teen Birth Rate Hits Historic Low

Posted July 6, 2016
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog teenbirthratehitshistoriclow 2016

The 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book bears good news: America’s teen birth rate has dropped 40% from 2008 to 2014.

At the state lev­el, teen birth rates range from a low of 11 births per 1,000 teens in Mass­a­chu­setts and New Hamp­shire to a high of 40 births per 1,000 teens in Arkansas. Nation­al­ly, the rate is at a his­toric low of 24 births per 1,000 teens.

Teenage child­bear­ing can have last­ing con­se­quences for both the moth­er and new­born. Teens are more like­ly to have low-birth­weight and preterm babies, and their babies are far more like­ly to be born into fam­i­lies with lim­it­ed edu­ca­tion­al and eco­nom­ic resources, which serve as bar­ri­ers to future success.

Chil­dren born to teen moth­ers are also more like­ly to engage in sex­u­al activ­i­ty and more like­ly to expe­ri­ence aca­d­e­m­ic and behav­ioral chal­lenges com­pared to peers born to old­er parents.

In Michi­gan, where the teen birth rate has dropped 34% since 2008, kids are mak­ing smarter deci­sions, says Ali­cia Gue­vara War­ren, the state’s KIDS COUNT pro­gram direc­tor at the Michi­gan League for Pub­lic Pol­i­cy. Few­er teens in Michi­gan are hav­ing sex­u­al inter­course, and of those who are sex­u­al­ly active, more are using birth con­trol. At the same time, it seems that agen­cies are doing a bet­ter job of coor­di­nat­ing ser­vices and ele­vat­ing out­reach and awareness.”

One key point that Gue­vara War­ren and her team are push­ing is that it is everybody’s job to sup­port our youth,” she says. We can do this by encour­ag­ing evi­dence-based sex­u­al edu­ca­tion pro­grams and by offer­ing teens clear path­ways to oppor­tu­ni­ties that can help them avoid becom­ing a young parent.”

This mes­sage of shared respon­si­bil­i­ty applies to teens, too. We are tar­get­ing both young men and women,” says Gue­vara War­ren. Because when it comes down to it, they both play an equal­ly impor­tant role in avoid­ing teen pregnancy.”

Popular Posts

View all blog posts   |   Browse Topics

Youth with curly hair in pink shirt

blog   |   June 3, 2021

Defining LGBTQ Terms and Concepts

A mother and her child are standing outdoors, each with one arm wrapped around the other. They are looking at each other and smiling. The child has a basketball in hand.

blog   |   August 1, 2022

Child Well-Being in Single-Parent Families