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Teen Birth Rate at Record Low

A recently released study from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) revealed that in 2009 the US teen birth rate reached the lowest level ever recorded. Although the decline in the teen birth rate had stalled from 2005 to 2007, the study indicates that declining trend has resumed. The study supports the government’s preliminary report on teenage pregnancy released in December.

Between 2007 and 2009, the teen birth rate decreased 8 percent to 39.1 births per 1,000 teens between the ages of 15 and 19. For teens 18-19 years old, the birth rate fell in 45 states and decreased overall six percent, which represents the greatest decline in one year since 1972.The birth rate has also decreased for teens younger than 15 years old.

The researchers noted declines in the birth rate for teens across racial and ethnic groups. In 2009, the rate of births to Hispanic teens reached an all-time low in the two decades that data has been recorded for the group. Although the reason for the drop in the rate of teenage pregnancies remains unclear, some suggest that this might be a result of the recession.

Sources:

National Center for Health Statistics 2/11; Washington Post 2/8/11

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