NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 19, 2004

The teenage birthrate reached a record low in 2002, dropping to the lowest level since the government began recording statistics in the 1940s, according to an annual report on child well-being in the United States.

According to the report, issued by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics:

  • Twenty-three girls per 1,000, ages 15 to 17, gave birth in 2002, a decrease of 40 percent since 1991.
  • Births among girls ages 18 to 19 dropped to historic lows.
  • The largest decreases in teenage pregnancy rates were among black teenagers.

Experts say that more teens are abstaining from sex, and those who don't are using contraceptives more frequently. When the teen pregnancy rate was rising in the 1980s, a variety of programs were implemented to reverse that trend, and it seems to have paid off, says Stephanie Ventura of the National Center for Health Statistics.

Source: Eric D. Tytell, "Teenage birthrate hits a record low in 2002, report says," Los Angeles Times, July 16, 2004; based upon, "America's Children In Brief: Key National Indicators of Well Being, 2004," Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, July 16, 2004.

For report text:


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