NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Teen Birthrate Hits 60-Year Low

August 9, 2000

Births to teen-age girls have dropped 20 percent over the past decade, to their lowest point since records started to be kept 60 years ago, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

  • The Center's preliminary data found that the teen birthrate fell 3 percent in 1999 -- to 49.6 births per 1,000 females ages 15 to 19.
  • Declines were noted among all teen age groups and all teen racial groups -- including a nearly 30 percent drop in births among black teens since 1991.
  • Births to women in their early 20s declined slightly last year -- while births to women in their late 20s, 30s, and 40s all rose.
  • The proportion of births to unwed teens -- nearly 79 percent -- was unchanged from 1998 to 1999, although the actual number of births out of wedlock rose 1 percent.

Apparently, experts think there is a positive aspect to this trend, since they are "crediting it" to such factors as public campaigns against teen pregnancy -- although obviously the campaigns haven't affected out-of-wedlock births.

Source: Cheryl Wetzstein, "Teen Birthrate Down Again in 1999," Washington Times, August 9, 2000.


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