Troubling Trend in Teen Birthrates Seen in New Federal Government Data

From the Guttmacher Institute

From the early 1990s through the early 2000s, rates of teen pregnancy, birth and abortion in the United States all declined dramatically—primarily but not exclusively because of increased and more effective contraceptive use among sexually active teens. These declines have since stalled, however, and new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) indicate that teen birthrates are on the rise. NCHS reports a 3% national increase between 2005 and 2006 (from 40.5 to 41.9 births per 1,000 females aged 15–19). This trend is reflected in data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey that show recent-year declines in both teens’ contraceptive use and their delaying of first sex.

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