After 2-Year Spike, US Teen Births Decline

Drop in teenage parenthood reverses two-year increase
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2010 2:10 PM CDT
After 2-Year Spike, US Teen Births Decline
In this photo taken July 22, 2009 in Round Lake, Ill., Hazel Evans, 20, spends time in her new apartment with her infant daughter, Autumn Evans, who was visiting.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

The rate at which American teenagers had children in 2008 was lower than in 2007, reversing an alarming 2-year trend. As the overall birth rate fell, births to girls aged 15 to 19 fell 2%. For 18- and 19-year-olds, the rate dropped 4%. Teen pregnancy had increased between 2005 and 2007, after falling steadily since 1991. The new stats, out today, raise hopes that the rate of teen births decreased again from 2008 to 2009.

Public health experts are unsure what exactly caused the downturn—some posit that the faltering economy played a role in discouraging pregnancy, but others dismiss such easy answers: "One view is that the rate has sort of plateaued and is now varying—bouncing around a flat line," a rep of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies told the Washington Post.
(More teen births stories.)

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