Dec. 5 (UPI) -- US pregnancy rates continue to decline, with only 102 pregnancies per 1,000 women in 2009, a 12-year low.
According to the report released by the National Center for Health Statistics, a steady decline in pregnancy rates has been observed from 1990, when the rate was 116 per 1,000 women. The lowest pregnancy rate in the last 30 years was in 1997 when the rate was 101.6 per 1,000 women.
Since 1990, the rate of pregnancy has fallen for women in their 20s, the largest group of pregnant women, and teens, while the pregnancy rate among women over 30 has increased steadily with every passing year.
“What happened was a postponement of births among younger women with a longer time horizon,” said Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University. “Women over 30 couldn’t wait that much longer.”
According to Sally Curtin, one of the report's authors, part of the drop can be attributed to fewer teenagers having sex, and greater contraceptive use among those who do have sex.
The birth rate for married women was higher than the rate for unmarried women, while the abortion rate for unmarried women was almost five times higher than the rate for married women.
The 2009 abortion rate among teenagers, around 16 percent, has dropped to less than half the rate in 1990, which was 40.3 percent.
[The Washington Post] [Centers for Disease Control]