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Teen Birth Rates Rise

According to the Center for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics, the United States' teen birthrate rose in 2006, the first increase in 14 years. The statistics also indicated that unmarried childbirth also rose significantly in 2006.

Between 2005 and 2006, the birth rate of teens ages 15-19 rose 3%, from 40.5 live births per 1,000 females to 42 live births per 1,000 females. The 3% rise equals 20,000 more births in 2006 than in 2005. The increase in teenage births follows a decline since 1991, when teen births peaked at 61.8 live births per 1,000 females.

The most significant increase in 2006 teen births was a 5% jump reported for non-Hispanic black teens. There was a 2% rise for Hispanic teens, 3% for non-Hispanic white teens, and 4% for American Indian or Alaska Native teens.

The birth rate of teens ages 18-19 was more than three times higher than the rate for teens ages 15-17. Total number of births for teens ages 18-19 in 2006 was 73 live births per 1,000 females, compared to the 22 live births per 1,000 females ages 15-17.

The birth rate for unmarried women also rose significantly, from 47.5 births 1,000 females in 2005 to 50.6 per 1,000 in 2006. The rise equals a 7% increase in births of unmarried women from 2005 to 2006, but follows an upward trend. There has been a 16% increase since 2002, which had a reported 43.7 births per 1,000 females.

Possible factors accounting for the increase include abstinence-only health education, decreased condom use, and increased sexual activity.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics.

Teen Birth Rates in the U.S., 1980–2006

(rates per 1,000 females in specified group)

Age 1980 1985 1990 1991 1993 1995 1996 1997 1998 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
All races                                
10–14 years 1.1 1.2 1.4 1.4 1.4 1.3 1.2 1.1 1.0 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.7 0.6 0.7
15–19 years 53.0 51.0 59.9 61.8 59.6 56.8 54.4 52.3 51.1 47.7 45.8 43.0 41.6 41.2 40.5 41.9
White, total                                
10–14 years 0.7 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 n. a. n. a.
15–19 years 50.8 52.8 51.1 50.1 48.1 46.3 45.4 43.2 41.2 39.4 38.3 37.8 n. a. n. a.
White, non-Hispanic                              
10–14 years 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2
15–19 years 41.2 42.5 43.4 40.7 39.3 37.6 36.0 35.2 32.6 30.3 27.4 26.8 25.9 26.6
Black                                
10–14 years 4.3 4.5 4.9 4.8 4.6 4.2 3.6 3.3 2.9 2.3 2.0 1.8 1.6 1.6 1.7 1.6
15–19 years 97.8 95.4 112.8 115.5 108.6 96.1 91.4 88.2 85.4 77.4 71.8 66.6 63.8 62.9 60.9 63.7
American Indian1                              
10–14 years 1.9 1.7 1.6 1.6 1.4 1.8 1.7 1.7 1.6 1.1 1.0 0.9 1.0 0.9 0.93 0.93
15–19 years 82.2 79.2 81.1 84.1 83.1 78.0 73.9 71.8 72.1 58.3 56.3 53.8 53.1 52.5 52.7 54.7
Asian/Pacific Islander                              
10–14 years 0.3 0.4 0.7 0.8 0.6 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2
15–19 years 26.2 23.8 26.4 27.3 27.0 26.1 24.6 23.7 23.1 20.5 19.8 18.3 17.4 17.4 17.0 16.7
Hispanic2                              
10–14 years 1.7 2.4 2.4 2.7 2.7 2.6 2.3 2.1 1.7 1.6 1.4 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.3
15–19 years 82.2 100.3 104.6 106.8 106.7 101.8 97.4 93.6 87.3 86.4 83.4 82.3 82.6 81.7 83.0
NOTE: (—) = Data not available.
1. Includes births to Aleuts and Eskimos.
2. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.
3. Or Alaska Native.
Source: Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics Reports, vol. 56, no. 7, Dec. 5, 2007.

Births to Teenagers and to Unmarried Women, 1940–2006

Year Teen childbearing Nonmarital childbearing
Total number
of births
to women
15–19 years
Birth rate
per 1,000 women
15–19 years
Total number
of births
to unmarried
women
Birth rate
per 1,000
unmarried women
15–44 years
Percent of
all births to
unmarried
women
1940 300,747 54.1 89,500 7.1 3.8%
1950 419,535 81.6 141,600 14.1 4.0
1960 586,966 89.1 224,300 21.6 5.3
1970 644,708 68.3 398,700 26.4 10.7
1980 552,161 53.0 665,747 29.4 18.4
1990 521,826 59.9 1,165,384 43.8 28.0
2000 468,990 48.5 1,347,043 44.0 33.2
2002 425,493 43.0 1,365,966 43.7 34.0
2003 414,580 41.6 1,415,995 44.9 34.6
20041 415,408 41.2 1,470,152 n.a. 35.7
2005 345,413 83.3 1,527,034 n.a. 36.9
2006 366,529 84.2 1,641,700 n.a. 38.5
1. Preliminary data.
Source: U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics Reports, vol. 56, no. 7, Dec. 5, 2007.

Information Please® Database, © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Multiple Births, 1980–2003 Births Contraceptive Use by Women, 15 to 44 Years Old: 1982, 1995, and 2002

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