Declines in teenage birth rates, 1991-97 : national and state patterns
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Declines in teenage birth rates, 1991-97 : national and state patterns

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      This report presents data on the numbers of teenage births and teenage birth rates for the United States for the period 1950-97 and State-specific birth rates for teenagers for 1991-96. After increasing sharply in the late 1980's, birth rates declined for American teenagers from 1991 through 1997. Rates fell overall by 16 percent for teenagers 15-17 years and by 11 percent for teenagers 18-19 years. Declines were reported for all race and ethnic origin groups, with the largest declines found for black teenagers, especially those aged 15-17 years. Particularly noteworthy has been the 21-percent decline in the rate of second births for teenagers who have had one child. Rates have fallen for first births as well, but the reductions are more modest, about 6 percent. Teenage mothers and their babies continue to be at greater risk of adverse health consequences compared with older mothers, including higher rates of preterm birth and low birthweight. While teenage birth rates vary considerably by State, rates fell in all States in the 1990's with nearly all declines statistically significant. Rates for black and non-Hispanic white teenagers dropped in most States from 1991 to 1996. Birth rate trends for Hispanic teenagers by State were not consistent. The proportion of second and higher order births among all teenage births declined substantially in most States. Data are from the National Center for Health Statistics' (NCHS) National Vital Statistics System.

      Suggested citation: Ventura SJ, Mathews TJ, Curtin SC. Declines in teenage birth rates, 1991–97: National and State patterns. National vital statistics reports; vol 47 no. 12. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics. 1998.

      9-0105 (12/98)

      PMID: 9887651


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