Teen Births in US at Historic Low, Study Finds

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pregnantThe teen birth rate is at a historic low, falling 8 percent from 2010 to 2011, according to a new report published in the journal Pediatrics. 

What’s more, unmarried teens accounted for only 18 percent of non-marital births in 2011 -- according to the authors of the study, the lowest proportion ever recorded.

The overall United States birth rate declined by one percent in that time, the report’s authors found, but  the general fertility rate is the lowest ever reported, declining to just 63.2 births per 1,000 women, according to the report.

The study found fewer young women are giving birth. The birth rate for women ages 20 to 24 fell by 5 percent.

The newly published data show  a 49 percent decrease in teen births since 1991 and a 25 percent decrease since 2007.

For the third consecutive year, birth rates for unmarried women also decreased, researchers said -- 3 percent between 2010 and 2011, and 11 percent since 2008.

Decreased birth rates for mothers ages 15 to 17 were recorded across all ethnic and racial demographics. The new 2011 data shows Caucasian teen births have fallen 62 percent since 1991, while birth rates for African-American and Hispanic teens  have decreased by 71 percent and 60 percent, respectively, for the same period.

“The impact of the decline in the teenage birth rates on the number of births to teenagers over the period 1992-2011 is substantial,” the report reads. “If the 1991 rates had continued to prevail from 1992 through 2011, an estimated 3.6 million additional births to women aged 15-to-19 years would have occurred in the United States.”