After rising to its highest point in two decades, the rate at which women in the United States gave birth declined in 2008 as the economy deteriorated, according to government statistics released Tuesday.

There were 41.5 births per 1,000 teens ages 15 to 19 in 2008, a 2 percent drop from the previous year. After a two-year increase in teen births prompted concern that one of the nation's most successful social and public health efforts was faltering, 2008 marked the return of a decline in which the rate fell 34 percent over many years.

"This is good news," said Stephanie J. Ventura of the National Center for Health Statistics, which released the annual preliminary analysis of birth certificate data. "It might come as a surprise because people were concerned the teen birthrate was on a different course."

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Source: Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/06/AR2010040600758.html