The birth rate for US teenagers, aged 15 to 19 years, fell 9% from 2009 to 2010, the lowest level reported in the past 70 years of comparable data, according to research released by the CDC.
The significant declines in teen childbearing since 1991 have strengthened in recent years, according to the news release. In 2010, the teen birth rate was 34.3 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19 years.
Teen birth rates vary significantly among states, the CDC reported, but US teenagers had fewer babies in 2010 than in any year since 1946. And all but three states recorded lower teen birth rates from 2007 to 2010 as rates fell across all teen age groups, and racial and ethnic groups.
Despite the downward trend, the US teen birth rate remains one of the highest among other industrialized nations, with annual public costs estimated at $10.9 billion, according to the CDC.
Recent data from the National Survey of Family Growth, conducted by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, showed “increased use of contraception at first initiation of sex and use of dual methods of contraception [condoms and hormonal] among sexually active female and male teenagers.”
The report suggested “these trends may have contributed to the recent birth rate declines.”
For more information: See full report compiled by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics.