NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Teen Births Hit New Low, Out-of-wedlock Births at New High

July 25, 2001

Since 1991, the teenage birth rate has declined 22 percent, according to preliminary statistics for 2000 released by the National Center for Health Statistics. At the same time, the number of babies born to single women reached a new record high last year.

Except for four years, the number of unwed births has risen every year since 1940.

Here are some other highlights from the NCHS report:

  • The birth rate for teens fell to 48.7 per 1,000 teens ages 15 to 19 -- compared to 62.1 per 1,000 in 1991.
  • The number of out-of-wedlock births stood at 1,345,917 in 2000 -- or 33.1 percent of all births that year.
  • Total U.S. births reached 4,064,948 -- a 3 percent increase from 1999 and one of the highest birth rates in a decade.
  • Birth rates for high school teens fell 4 percent from 1999 -- but among 18- and 19-year-olds the decline was only 1 percent.

Birth rates for teens ages 15 through 19 fell in most racial groups, but rose among Hispanic teens.

Source: Cheryl Wetzstein, "Teen Births Drop to New Low in 2000," Washington Times, July 25, 2001.


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