U.S. Teen Births Hit Another Record Low

Jim Liebelt

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on WebMD.

Births to U.S. teens reached a record low last year, continuing a dramatic two-decade decline, federal health officials reported recently.

The then-historic low achieved in 2014 was surpassed in 2015, with the overall birth rate for 15- to 19-year-olds falling another 8 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The current rate -- 22.3 births per 1,000 females -- represents a 64 percent falloff in teen motherhood since 1991, health officials noted. Record lows were reported for minorities and whites.

Among younger teens -- girls 15 to 17 --- the birth rate has fallen 74 percent from 1991, the CDC said.

"There is a phenomenal decline in teen births we see across the board -- it's just really amazing," said lead researcher Brady Hamilton, from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Despite these successes, however, the birth rate for American teens is still higher than in other developed nations. Also, racial disparities in birth rates still exist, the CDC noted.

Still, this is one of the nation's great success stories of the past two decades, said Bill Albert, chief program officer at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. "It's a lot of progress on an issue that many considered quite intractable," he said.

"We are seeing a cultural change," he added. "It's this magic combination of less sex and more contraception."

Source: WebMD