Nation’s Teen Birth Rate Hits Record Low

Posted July 27, 2017
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog blog nationsteenbirthrate 2017

In 2015, the nation’s teen birth rate dropped to an all-time low — 22 births per 1,000 teenage girls. In 1990, this rate was sig­nif­i­cant­ly high­er at 60 births per 1,000 teenage girls.

In com­par­ing total births by teens for these two dates: 229,715 teen girls gave birth in 2015 and more than dou­ble that num­ber — 521,826 teen girls total — gave birth in 1990.

While the nation’s teen birth rate hit­ting a his­toric low is great news, the KIDS COUNT Data Cen­ter reveals there’s room for improvement.

For instance: Among 18- and 19-year olds, the teen birth rate in 2015 was four times high­er (41 births per 1,000 teen girls) than it was for 15- and 17-year-olds (10 births per 1,000 teen girls).

Anoth­er sober­ing sta­tis­tic: In 17% of teen births on record for 2015, the moth­ers had already giv­en birth at least once before.

Teenage child­bear­ing can have long-term neg­a­tive con­se­quences for both the moth­er and child, accord­ing to research.

Babies born to teens are far more like­ly to be born preterm, with a low birth­weight, and have poor­er aca­d­e­m­ic and behav­ioral out­comes. Their fam­i­lies are also more like­ly to have lim­it­ed edu­ca­tion­al and eco­nom­ic resources, which func­tion as bar­ri­ers to success.

Vis­it the KIDS COUNT Data Cen­ter for more birth data at the nation­al and state-level:

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