Teen Birth Rate Drops

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Births to U.S. teenagers dropped two percent in 2008, reversing two years of teen birth increases that had interrupted a 14-year decline, according to statistics released today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The biggest drop (4 percent) occurred among older teens, ages 18 to 19, who had led the earlier increases. The birth rate for teens 15 to 17 dropped by two percent while the rate for girls 10 to 14 stayed the same.

CDC birthrate chart

The statistics in the report – Births: Preliminary Data for 2008 – are preliminary and are based on 99.9 percent of all births registered in 2008.

Overall, the data show, the total number of births in the United States dropped almost 2 percent in 2008, from 4,317,119  in 2007 to 4,251,095. The only age groups that showed an increase in birthrates were women 40 to 44  and 45 to 54.

The birthrate for Hispanic teens fell to 77.4 births per 1,000 girls – about a 5 percent drop, and the  lowest rate recorded for this group in the two decades for which rates are available. The declines for non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks were both about 2 percent, according to the study from the CDC’s Division of Vital Statistics.

The proportion of all births to unmarried women rose to 40.6 percent, with teenagers accounting for 22 percent of all births to unmarried women. In 1975, teen mothers comprised 52 percent of births to unmarried women.