A Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said births to younger teens age 15 to 17 declined 67 percent since 1991, but teens this age still account for 1 of 4 U.S. teen births in 2012.
"Although we have made significant progress reducing teen pregnancy, far too many teens are still having babies,” Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said in a statement. “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.”
The report, published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, also found:
In 2012, the birth rate per 1,000 teens ages 15 to 17 years was 25.5 for Hispanic teens, 21.9 for non-Hispanic black teens, 17 for American Indian/Alaska Native teens, 8.4 for non-Hispanic white teens and 4.1 for Asian/Pacific Islander teens.
Nearly 1 in 4 teens ages 15 to 17 never spoke with their parents or guardians about sex.
More than 80 percent of the sexually active ages 15 to 17 had no formal sex education before they lost their virginity.
More than 90 percent of U.S. teens who are sexually active used some form of contraception the last time they had sex, but most used the least effective methods such as condoms.