U.S. Teen Pregnancy, Birth and Abortion Rates Reach the Lowest Levels in Almost Four Decades
Teen pregnancy, birth and abortion rates in the United States all reached new historic lows in 2011, according to two new analyses (national andstate) from the Guttmacher Institute.
In 2011, about 553,000 pregnancies occurred among teen women aged 15–19, for a national rate of 52.4 pregnancies per 1,000 women in that age-group. This is the lowest rate observed in the last four decades, and it marks a 23% decline from the 2008 teen pregnancy rate of 68.2. National teen birth and abortion rates have also declined sharply: in 2011, there were 31.3 births per 1,000 teen women (down from 40.2 in 2008) and 13.5 abortions per 1,000 teen women (down from 18.1 in 2008).
Rates are also continuing a long-term decline at the state level. In 2011, the states with the highest teen pregnancy rates were New Mexico, Mississippi and Arkansas. The lowest teen pregnancy rates were observed in New Hampshire, Minnesota and Vermont. The authors note that disparities in teen pregnancy rates and outcomes between states are likely due to a variety of factors, including differences in state demographic characteristics, the availability of comprehensive sex education, and knowledge about and availability of contraceptive services. READ MORE at guttmacher.org