Mia Zolna and Laura Duberstein Lindberg of the Guttmacher Institute in New York said nearly 10 percent of unmarried women ages 20-29 -- 95 per 1,000 -- experienced an unintended pregnancy in 2008, a slight increase since 2001, when it stood at 92 per 1,000.
"One of the most powerful ways that we can improve the health and well-being of women and their families is to make contraception easier and more affordable to use," says Guttmacher policy expert Adam Sonfield. "Expanding insurance coverage and public funding for the most effective methods of contraception -- and for the counseling and education needed to help women and couples choose the method that is best for them -- can go a long way toward reducing unintended pregnancies and births in this high-risk age group."
In 2008, black and Hispanic women had rates of unintended pregnancy twice those of their white counterparts, while rates among poor women were more than four times the rate for women in the highest income group, the researchers.
"Young people typically have sex for the first time around age 17, but generally don't marry until their mid-20s, putting them at high risk of unintended pregnancy and birth for a decade or more," Lindberg said. "We can't just focus on reducing teen pregnancies anymore."