US Teen Pregnancy Rate Declines, at Lowest Rate Since 1972

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The US teen pregnancy rate has declined 42 percent from its peak in 1990 and is now at a nearly 40-year low, according to new data from the Guttmacher Institute. These new data track teen pregnancy through 2008. In addition to the overall national declines, teen pregnancy has also decreased dramatically among all racial and ethnic groups.

 

"The declines in teen pregnancy have been nothing short of extraordinary," said Sarah Brown, CEO of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. "Make no mistake, the credit for this remarkable progress goes to teens themselves who have, over the past two decades, adopted a less sex, more contraception strategy—one that is clearly working. Even so, it is still the case that nearly 3 in 10 girls in the US get pregnant by age 20, that teen childbearing continues to cost taxpayers billions of dollars annually, that early pregnancy and childbearing contribute to dropping out of high school, and that significant disparities in teen pregnancy remain among black, white, and Hispanic teens."

 

Other findings from the new Guttmacher Institute data include:

 

    * The teen pregnancy rate in 2008 was 68 per 1,000 girls age 15-19; down from 117 per 1,000 in 1990.

    * There were nearly 750,000 pregnancies to women 20 and younger in 2008.

    * Teen pregnancy has declined among all racial/ethnic groups since 1990—down 50 percent for whites, 48 percent for black teens, and 37 percent among Hispanic teens. 

 

Visit guttmacher.org to read the full report on US teen pregnancies, births, and abortions. Visit TheNationalCampaign.org for more information on teen pregnancy and related issues.