Adolescent Childbearing

The birth rate among adolescents aged 15–19 years decreased to 40.5 births per 1,000 females in 2005. This is 1.5 percent below the rate in the previous year and represents a 34 percent decrease since the most recent peak in 1991. The birth rate among adolescents aged 10–14 years remained static at 0.7 per 1,000; however, this rate is 50 percent lower than the 1991 rate. Teenage birth rates were highest among older adolescents, aged 18–19 years, at 69.9 per 1,000.

Among younger adolescents aged 10–14 years, birth rates remained the same from 2004 among all races and ethnicities except non-Hispanic Black females who saw a 6 percent increase. Non-Hispanic Black females in this age group also had the highest birth rate (1.7 per 1,000) followed by Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native females (1.3 and 0.9 per 1,000, respectively). The lowest birth rates were found among Asian/Pacific Islanders and non-Hispanic Whites (0.2 per 1,000 for both groups).

Teenage birth rates have historically varied considerably by race and ethnicity. Among adolescents aged 15–19 years, Asian/Pacific Islanders had the lowest birth rate in 2005 (17.0 per 1,000), followed by non-Hispanic Whites (25.9 per 1,000). Although non-Hispanic Black teens had one of the highest birth rates for this age group (60.9 per 1,000), they have also experienced the largest percentage decrease since 1991 (48 percent). Comparatively, Hispanic females had the highest birth rate among teens aged 15–19 years (81.7 per 1,000), but had the lowest percentage decrease since 1991 (22 percent). The birth rate for American Indian/Alaska Native females aged 15–19 years was 52.7 per 1,000.

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