CDC: Teen Pregnancy Rates Are Dropping, But Room for Improvement

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Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its latest findings on teen pregnancy statistics this week, and the agency’s report revealed that births to teens aged 15 to 17 have decreased; however, there is still significant room for improvement. Medical News Today highlighted the statistics Wednesday and elucidated that girls between the ages of 15 and 17 in the U.S. are still having nearly 1,700 births a week. The CDC believes that these figures demonstrate the continued need for intervention targeted at teens, and Dr. Tom Frieden, CDC director, maintained this week that, “Although we have made significant progress reducing teen pregnancy, far too many teens are still having babies. Births to younger teens pose the greatest risk of poor medical, social, and economic outcomes. Efforts to prevent teen childbearing need to focus on evidence-based approaches to delaying sexual activity and increasing use of the most effective methods of contraception for those teens who are sexually active.”

According to Medical News Today, researchers studied birth data from the National Vital Statistics System, as well as adolescent health behavior data from the National Survey of Family Growth to come up with their latest statistics, and found that per 1,000 teens between 15-17 years old, births declined 63 percent, from 38.6 in 1991 to 14.1 in 2012. The CDC published its findings online this week to not only celebrate the dropping percentage, but also remind consumers just how prevalent teen pregnancy still is, and ”continue the dialogue about teen pregnancy and its burden on our nation’s youth.”

Teen births in the U.S. have continued to decline over the last 20 years, but all numbers are still relative, and even though the percentages of teen pregnancy have dipped, it’s still important to recognize that teen girls are still having nearly 1,700 births a week.

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