U.S. teen birth rate lowest since 1946

April 11, 2012 at 1:50 AM
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ATLANTA, April 11 (UPI) -- Fewer babies were born to U.S. teenagers ages 15-19 in 2010 -- 367,752 -- than in any year since 1946's 322,380, federal health officials said.

The preliminary report by the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, used the most current data available from the National Vital Statistics System found the 2010 total of births to teenagers was 43 percent lower than the peak recorded in 1970 at 644,708, the report said.

The U.S. teen birth rate declined 9 percent from 2009 to 2010, reaching a historic low at 34.3 births per 1,000 women ages 15-19; the rate dropped 44 percent from 1991 through 2010, the report said.

Teen birth rates fell in all but three states -- Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia -- from 2007 to 2010.

Teen birth rates by state varied significantly. Mississippi had the highest rate of teen pregnancy at 55 per 1,000 teenage girls, followed by New Mexico, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Alabama and Tennessee.

New Hampshire led the country with the lowest rate of teen pregnancies with 15.7 teen births per 1,000 girls, followed by Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maine, Rhode Island, Minnesota, New York and Wisconsin.

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