Thursday, April 24, 2008

Teen Pregnancy Rate versus Teen Birth Rate

Our Bodies Our Blog: What's the Truth About Teen Pregnancy?

You may have seen recent headlines such as "US teen pregnancy rate near historic low" and been somewhat confused (I certainly was). After all, didn't the CDC just announce that teen pregnancy rates were going up? A Dec 7, 2007 CDC press release entitled "Teen Birth Rate Rises for First Time in 14 Years" stated that "The teen birth rate in the United States rose in 2006 for the first time since 1991, and unmarried childbearing also rose significantly, according to preliminary birth statistics."

The two reports focus on slightly different things - teen pregnancies vs. teen births. The new report notes that the teen pregnancy rate was 72.2 per 1,000 ages 15-19 in 2004. The 2006 report indicates that the teen birth rate has increased to 41.9 births per 1,000, but doesn't provide an overall teen pregnancy rate. These are difficult to compare easily, as not all pregnancies result in births. We know, then, that births to teenagers increased in 2006, but not how the actual pregnancy rate changed. The teen pregnancy report shows a historic trend of both birth and abortion rates declining alongside pregnancy rates.

Pregnancy & Childbirth, Teenagers and Children | Permalink

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The NCHS Fastats stated in 2003 414,580 teens gave birth and in 2005 414,593 teens gave birth. It appears that teen birth numbers have not changed all that much but I haven't been able to find the rate for 2003, where the rate for 2005 was 40.5 per 1000.

Posted by: Fran Ward | Apr 25, 2008 11:47:11 AM

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