NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Teen Pregnancy Rates

February 11, 1996

Because so many other social pathologies correlate directly with teen pregnancy and illegitimacy -- domestic violence, low birthweight, crime, child abuse, drug and alcohol abuse and entrenched poverty -- inability to deal with the problem could have devastating social consequences.

In a fact sheet released last month, Child Trends, Inc., a nonpartisan research organization, presented some alarming statistics:

  • At 60 births per 1,000 females aged 15 to 19 in 1993, the U.S. teen birthrate remains much higher than for other industrialized democracies.
  • The births per 1,000 teens in other developed countries are Japan (4), France and Denmark (9), Germany (10), Canada (26) and the United Kingdom (33).
  • The percentage of out-of-wedlock births by U.S. teens has continued to increase since the mid-1980s, reaching the alarming level of 72 percent in 1993 -- compared to 30 percent in 1970 and 15 percent in 1960.
  • Among females aged 15 to 19 in 1991, nearly 10 percent of whites, nearly 25 percent of blacks, and nearly 20 percent of Hispanic teens became pregnant.

Source: Editorial, "The Costs of Teen Pregnancy," Washington Times, February 11, 1996.


Browse more articles on Government Issues