U.S. teen birth rate down slightly

Oct. 13, 2011 at 11:45 PM
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ATLANTA, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- A U.S. study of teen sex from 2006 to 2010 found the probability of having had a birth before age 20 was 18 percent, federal health officials said.

Researchers Gladys Martinez, Casey Copen and Joyce Abma at the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the probability of a teen birth before age 20 was the same in a similar study in 2002.

In 2006 to 2010, the probability of females ages 15-24 having given birth by age 15 was less than 1 percent, compared with 18 percent by age 20, the report said.

"Hispanic teenagers had the highest risk of having a teen birth. Non-Hispanic black teenagers' probability of having had a first birth between the ages of 15-19 was higher than that of non-Hispanic white teenagers but lower than for Hispanic teenagers," the report said.

Fourteen percent of non-Hispanic white females had a first birth by age 20, compared with 26 percent of non-Hispanic black and 30 percent of Hispanic females, the report said.

The U.S. birth rate for females ages 15-19 was 39.1 births per 1,000 females in 2009 -- a historic low -- but the rate was higher than in a number of other developed countries. The United Nations Population Division said the teen birth rate in Canada was 14 births per 1,000 female teens; in Germany, it was 10 births per 1,000 female teens; and in Italy, 7 per 1,000 female teens, the report said.

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