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Adolescent Childbearing

Narrative

According to preliminary data, the birth rate among adolescent females aged 15–19 years decreased to 39.1 per 1,000 females in 2009. This continues the general decline in teen birth rates since the most recent peak in 1991, when the rate was 61.8 per 1,000 females, and represents a decline of nearly 37 percent over that period. The birth rate among adolescents aged 10–14 years was 0.5 births per 1,000 females, the lowest rate ever reported. Teenage birth rates were highest among adolescents aged 18-19 years (66.2 per 1,000), and this age group experienced the smallest decline since 1991 (30 percent).

Among adolescents aged 10–14 years, non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic females had the highest birth rates in 2009 (1.2 and 1.0 births per 1,000) population, respectively. Non-Hispanic White and Asian/Pacific Islander females had the lowest birth rates among those aged 10–14 years (both 0.2 per 1,000). The birth rate among American Indian/Alaskan Native adolescents aged 10-14 years was 0.8 per 1,000.

Among adolescents aged 15–19 years, Asian/Pacific Islander females had the lowest birth rate in 2009 (14.6 per 1,000), followed by non-Hispanic White females (25.6 per 1,000). Hispanic females had the highest birth rate in this age group (70.1 per 1,000) in 2009. However, this estimate represents a 10 percent decline since 2008 and the lowest rate ever reported for this group in the two decades for which rates for Hispanic teenagers are available. Non-Hispanic Black females had the second highest birth rate among those aged 15–19 years (59.0 per 1,000), followed by American Indian/Alaska Native teens (55.5 per 1,000).

Graphs

This image is described in the Data section.

birth rates among females 10-19 graph

This image is described in the Data section.

birth rates among females 15-19 graph

Data

Birth Rates Among Adolescent Females Aged 10-19, by Age and Race/Ethnicity, 2009*
Race/Ethnicity Live births per 1,000 females
10-14 years 15-17 years 18-19 years
*Data for 2009 are preliminary.
†Separate estimates for Asians and Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders were not available.
Source: Hamilton BE, Martin JA, Ventura SJ. Births: Preliminary data for 2009. National vital statistics reports web release; vol 59 no 3. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2010. Accessed March 2011.
Total 0.5 20.1 66.2
Non-Hispanic White 0.2 11.0 46.1
Non-Hispanic Black 1.2 32.1 97.5
Hispanic 1.0 41.0 114.0
Asian/Pacific Islander (May include Hispanic)† 0.2 7.1 25.7
American Indian/Alaska Native 0.8 30.6 90.5

Birth Rates Among Adolescent Females Aged 15-19, by Race/Ethnicity, 1990-2009*

Live births per 1,000 females for:

  • Hispanic decreased from approximately 100 to 70.1
  • Non-Hispanic Black decreased from approximately 115 to 59.0
  • American Indian/Alaska Native (May include Hispanic) decreased from approximately 80 to 55.5
  • Non-Hispanic White decreased from approximately 50 to 25.6
  • Asian/Pacific Islander (May include Hispanic)† decreased from approximately 25 to 14.6

*Data for 2009 are preliminary.
†Separate estimates for Asians and Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders were not available.

Source: Hamilton BE, Martin JA, Ventura SJ. Births: Preliminary data for 2009. National vital statistics reports web release; vol 59 no 3. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2010. Accessed March 2011.


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