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U.S. Teen Birth Rate Starting to Decline Nationwide

As the country’s birth rate stagnates or declines, so does teen birth rates.

New data and statistics released on Friday, August 2 by the Pew Research Center and the National Center for Health Statistics are indicating that the teen birth rate in the United States is declining nationwide. The birth rate for young women between the ages of 15 years and 19 years old went from about 54% in 1940 to 17% in 2018, an approximate 58% decline over the past 70 years or so.

When broken down by race and or ethnicity, the teen birth rate for Hispanic and Latina women went down from more than 77% in 2008 to about 27% ten years later in 2018 and the teen birth rate for Black or African American women also went down from more than 62% in 2008 to almost 25% in ten years later in 2018. Teen birth rates amongst white or Caucasian women and Asian women have been historically and are currently statistically lower than their Black and Hispanic counterparts.

According, the causes of this decline have been attributed to an increase in access to medicinal contraception such as the birth control pill or the IUD, sexual health education provided public education or medical organizations, public funding for family planning policies and sexual health awareness, and economic inequalities such as the higher costs of living. When the factor or issue of abortion was added, the teen pregnancy rate decreased from more than 96% in 1973, the year Roe V. Wade legalized abortion nationwide, to about 43% around 2013 during the same time the abortion rate decreased from about 23% in 1973 to about 10% around 2013

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