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Teenage Pregnancy Statistics - What the Numbers Reveal

Aug 17, 2007
Teenage pregnancy statistics in the United States vary by state. In 2000, teen birth rates were highest in Mississippi, Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, and New Mexico; Nevada had the highest teen pregnancy rate at 113 per 1000 women. Birth rates were lowest in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, North Dakota, and Maine; the lowest birth rate was found in North Dakota, with 42 per 1000 women.

Abortion rates among teenage girls were highest in the District of Columbia, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Nevada, and California. Indeed, more than fifty percent of pregnant adolescents in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia choose to terminate their pregnancies. Adolescents in Utah, Kentucky, South Dakota, and North Dakota had the lowest abortion rates; South Dakota, Kentucky, and Utah had fewer than 17% of their pregnant teenagers choose abortion.

According to available teenage pregnancy statistics, Arkansas has the highest pregnancy rate among its non-Hispanic white teen population, with 77 per 1000. Other southern states also showed a similar trend, having high non-Hispanic white pregnancy rates; the teenage pregnancy statistics regarding rates for Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, and South Carolina, for example, ranged from 71 to 73 per 1000. Again, North Dakota had the lowest rate among non-Hispanic whites, with 33 per 1000.

When looking at teenage pregnancy statistics for black teenagers between the ages of 15 to 19, rates of pregnancy were highest in New Jersey, with 209 per 1000; following closely were Wisconsin, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Oregon with rates ranging from 161 to 177 per 1000. Pregnancy rates among black teens were lowest in Utah, New Mexico, West Virginia, Rhode Island, and Colorado, where they ranged from 71 to 114 per 1000.

Moving to the Hispanic population, pregnancy rates ranged from 154 to 169 per 1000 in Georgia, Arizona, Tennessee, Colorado, and Delaware, the states which have the highest rates among this group. The lowest rates for Hispanic teens are found in Mississippi, Missouri, South Dakota, and Ohio, where the numbers range from 71 to 115 per 1000.

Between 1988 and 2000, teenage pregnancy rates declined in every state and among all groups. The pregnancy rate among black teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 declined by 40% between 1990 and 2002. The decrease in white teenagers was of 34% and among Hispanic teens it was of 19%.
Compared to its peak in 1988, the teen abortion rate decreased by almost 50% in 2002. This decline reflected in teenage pregnancy statistics represents the fact that fewer teenagers are having sexual intercourse, 47% in 2003 compared to 53% in 1993. Alongside the increase in abstinence, however, there has been an increase in the rates of contraceptive use.
About the Author
Azzam Sheikh
Facilitator 'Strengthening families, strengthening communities' parent programme.

pregnancy resource center
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