U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

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Adolescent Childbearing

According to preliminary data, the birth rate among adolescent females aged 15–19 years decreased to 41.5 per 1,000 females in this age group in 2008. 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 33 percent over that period. The birth rate among adolescents aged 10–14 years was 0.6 births per 1,000 females in this age group, representing a decrease of 57 percent since 1991. Teenage birth rates were highest among adolescents aged 18-19 years (70.7 per 1,000), and this age group experienced the smallest decline since 1991 (25 percent; data not shown).

Teenage birth rates have historically varied considerably by race/ethnicity. Among adolescents aged 15–19 years, Asian/Pacific Islander females had the lowest birth rate in 2008 (16.2 per 1,000), followed by non-Hispanic White females (26.7 per 1,000). Birth rates for these groups have decreased 41 percent and 38 percent, respectively, since 1991. Hispanic females had the highest birth rate in this age group (77.4 per 1,000) in 2008, and the smallest decline since 1991 (26 percent). Non-Hispanic Black females had the second highest birth rate among those aged 15–19 years (62.9 per 1,000), but the greatest decline since 1991 (47 percent).

Among adolescents aged 10–14 years, non- Hispanic Black females had the highest birth rate in 2008 (1.4 per 1,000), followed by Hispanic females (1.2 per 1,000). 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).

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