February 12, 2013 — The birth rate for U.S. women ages 15 through 19 fell by 8% to reach "historic lows" in 2011, according to a report by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, the Los Angeles Times' "Booster Shots" reports. There were about 31.3 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 24, NCHS said.
The study, published on Monday in Pediatrics, examined vital statistics from birth certificates and death records in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Since 1991 -- when teen birth rates peaked -- the rate has fallen by 49%, according to the study (Brown, "Booster Shots," Los Angeles Times, 2/11).
Reasons for Decline
Brady Hamilton, lead author of the study and a CDC statistician, said the decline in the teen birth rate reflects the impact of policies and programs aimed at 15- to 19-year-olds.
Krishna Upadhya, a researcher at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who was not involved in the study, attributed the lower teen birth rate to the increased use of contraception and the use of more effective contraceptive methods among the age group.
However, Upadhya noted that teens in some parts of the country have limited access to condoms or long-acting reversible contraceptives, such as intrauterine devices (Pittman, Reuters, 2/11).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership