Today’s Teen Pregnancy Rates: Better Or Worse?

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An empty baby bottle lying on a striped background

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even though the pregnancy rate for teens between 15 and 17 seems to be declining, a quarter of all teen births still occur in this age group. The number? About 1,700 births a week.

“We can’t be complacent when we hear about these declines,” said Ileana Arias, principal deputy director of the CDC. “We still need to make more progress in reducing health disparities and the public health burden related to teen pregnancies and births.”

CDC Vital Signs report highlights include:

  • Birth rates were higher among Hispanic, black and American Indian/Alaska Native teens.
  • In 2012, the birth rate per 1,000 teens in that age group was 25.5 for Hispanic teens, 21.9 for black teens, 17 for American Indian/Alaska Native teens, 8.4 for white teens and 4.1 for Asian/Pacific Islander teens.
  • Most female teens aged 15 to 17 (73 percent) have not yet had sex.
  • Most of these girls have spoken with their parents or guardians about sex, but only about four in 10 received information both on birth control and how to say no to sex.

A Lack of Education: About Sex & About The Future

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