The teen birth rate in the United States increased in 26 of the 50 states in 2006, representing almost every region of the country, according to a new government report.

The latest report, released Wednesday by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, includes state-by-state teen birth rate statistics based on all birth certificates issued in 2006.

The report revealed that teen birth rates were highest in the South and Southwest, with the highest rate recorded in Mississippi (68.4), followed by New Mexico (64.1) and Texas (63.1).

Teen birth rates for 2006 were lowest in the Northeast, with the lowest rates in New Hampshire (18.7), Vermont (20.8), and Massachusetts (21.3), according to the report, Births: Final Data for 2006.

The only states reporting a decrease in teen birth rates between 2005 and 2006 were North Dakota, Rhode Island and New York, the report said.

The birth rate for teens 15 to 19 years old increased 3 percent in 2006, interrupting the 14-year period of continuous decline from 1991 through 2005. Only the rate for the youngest teens declined in 2006, to 0.6 per 1,000 females aged 10 to 14 years. The rates for teens 15 to 17 and 18 to 19 years old rose 3 to 4 percent each. These increases followed declines of 45 percent and 26 percent, respectively, in the rates between 1991 and 2005, according to the report.

Source: U.S. News & World Report

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