Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.

CDC: Teen Birthrates at Historic Low

By Sarah D. Sparks — April 10, 2012 1 min read

Guest blog post by Jaclyn Zubrzycki

More news on teen sexuality, to follow up on our recent post about sex and STD education programs: The teen birthrate in the U.S. is at an historic low.

The U.S. has one of the highest teen birthrates in the industrialized world; and yet that rate has declined dramatically since the early 1990s. Since 1991, the rate at which teens give birth has dropped by 44 percent; between 2009 and 2010 alone, it’s dropped by 9 percent.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics has released a data brief highlighting trends in teenage birthrates. Using data from the 2010 Census and birth data, the researchers determined more-accurate birthrates for 2001-2010 (rates calculated before had used the 2000 Census as a baseline).

The U.S. teen birthrate is now 34.3 per 1,000 women aged 15-19. Fewer babies were born to teens this year than in any year since 1946. “If the teen birthrates observed in 1991 had not declined through 2010 as they did, there would have been an estimated 3.4 million additional births to teens during 1992-2010,” the authors write. The report has some striking graphs that break down the rate into even smaller units (ie., 18-19 year olds, 15-17 year olds).

There’s wide variation by state and by ethnic background. Asian or Pacific Islander students give birth at a rate of approximately 10.9 per 1,000 15-19-year-old women, while non-Hispanic white teenagers have a rate of 23.5, non-Hispanic black teenagers have a rate of 51.5, and Hispanic teenagers have a rate of 55.7. Even Hispanic teenagers saw a decline in the birth rate between 2009 and 2010.

Between 2007 and 2010, rates declined in the District of Columbia and in every state except Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia. There are, however, large differences between states’ birthrates, which we also wrote about in the context of research linking high birthrates to the religious and political climate in a state. The authors of this piece also highlight the connection between states’ Hispanic populations and overall birthrates. Mississippi has the highest teen birthrate of any state (55.0 per 1,000). New Hampshire has the lowest (15.7 per 1,000).

A version of this news article first appeared in the Inside School Research blog.


Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School & District Management Webinar
The 4 Biggest Challenges of MTSS During Remote Learning: How Districts Are Adapting
Leaders share ways they have overcome the biggest obstacles of adapting a MTSS or RTI framework in a hybrid or remote learning environment.
Content provided by Panorama Education
Student Well-Being Online Summit Keeping Students and Teachers Motivated and Engaged
Join experts to learn how to address teacher morale, identify students with low engagement, and share what is working in remote learning.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Join us for our NBOE 2021 Winter Teacher Virtual Interview Fair!
Newark, New Jersey
Newark Public Schools
Special Education Teacher
Chicago, Illinois
JCFS Chicago
Assistant Director of Technical Solutions
Working from home
EdGems Math LLC

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read