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Rebecca Wind
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U.S. Teenage Pregnancy Rate Drops For 10th Straight Year

Rates Declined in Every State and the District of Columbia

In 2000, 83.6 in 1,000 women aged 15-19 became pregnant-a 28% decline from 1990, when the teenage pregnancy rate reached a high of 116.9 per 1,000 women. Declines also took place among all racial and ethnic groups and in every state in 2000, according to new data from The Alan Guttmacher Institute. The teenage birth and abortion rates also declined between 1990 and 2000. (Pregnancies are calculated as the sum of births, miscarriages (including stillbirths) and abortions.)

Teenage pregnancy rates in 2000 varied widely by state, ranging from 42 pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15-19 in North Dakota to 113 per 1,000 in Nevada. The rate in the District of Columbia was 128 per 1,000.

Declines also occurred among adolescents in all racial and ethnic groups. The pregnancy rate among black women aged 15-19 declined 32% between 1990 and 2000 to 153 per 1,000 women; among white teenagers it declined 28% to 71 per 1,000. The rate among Hispanic teenagers fell 15% from 1992-2000 (following a brief increase from 1990-1992) to 139 per 1,000.

Previous research suggests that both declines in sexual activity and increased use of more effective contraceptives are responsible for the continued declines in teenage pregnancy. An analysis by researchers at The Alan Guttmacher Institute found that about 25% of the decline in teenage pregnancy between 1988 and 1995 was due to decreased sexual activity, while 75% was due to more effective contraceptive practice. This analysis utilized sexual behavior data from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG). The next NSFG has not yet been completed.

For the full report, click here: Teenage Pregnancy: Overall Trends and State-by-State Information [pdf file]

Coming Soon:
• New data on the incidence and prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases among American youth - release date 2/24/04
• Updated state-level fact sheets on abortion and on contraceptive services

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