Teen pregnancy rates drop

In Health & Lifestyles on December 2, 2011 at 8:10 pm

By: Kristen Hegel

            The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report revealing that the birth rate of teens and young women in America has hit an all-time low. According to data gathered from roughly all United States birth records, the rate is the lowest it has been in almost 7 decades.

Young women know it isn't financially possible to add another member to the family with the unstable economy. Photo courtesy of Google images

            This isn’t the first year theUSbirth rate has dropped, for the third straight year, pregnancy rates among teens and women in their early 20s have declined. In 2007, there were 4.3 million births, but in 2008 and 2009, there were 4.2 and 4.1 million births. Last year, the number was barely 4 million. CDC health experts suspected the decline was a result of the economy, and after last year’s numbers, it seems their suspicions have become fact.

            The report came as a shock to many, considering today’s culture seems to put a positive spin on teen pregnancy with shows like 16 and Pregnant. Health officials believe the economic downturn has influenced the downfall in pregnancy. “I don’t think there’s any doubt now that it was the recession. It could not be anything else,” Carl Haub, a demographer with the Population Reference Bureau, said. 

            For teens, the birth rate has dropped 9 percent, which is the lowest drop since researchers have begun keeping track. For women in their early 20s, the birth rate has dropped 6 percent. Birth rates across the board in all ethnic groups have dropped as well. Besides the economy being a factor, health officials believe the decline may be a result of better sex education in the school systems. The historic drop, overall, comes as good news; maybe the media’s attention on young mothers isn’t glamourizing teen pregnancy after all.


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