Teen births reached a historic low in 2014, dropping 9 percent from 2013 to 2014–the birth rate is currently 2.4 percent for 15 to 19 year olds. On the other hand, the birth rate for women over 30 increased by 6 percent and is currently at a rate of 30 percent. And overall births increased by approximately 1 percent to 4 million.
There are a couple of reasons that may suggest why the rate decreased so significantly. For one thing, Dr. Paul Jarris, chief medical officer at March of Dimes, suggests it has simply become less acceptable for teens to be pregnant. In addition, teens have more access to long-lasting birth control, opposed to condoms or a daily pill.
The decline in teen pregnancy is good for several reasons. In general, teens receive worse prenatal care compared to adults and there’s a higher risk of complications. And, as you might expect, Jarris explains teen moms may be more likely to experience poverty and loneliness, and they may miss out on education opportunities.
However, early reports of 2015 and 2016 data show an increase in early deliveries, which in itself have complications. And it is most often minority women who are experience pre-term births. Jarris explains researchers should want to understand why this disparity is increasing.
To read more about the decline in teen pregnancy, please visit “U.S. Teen Births Hit Historic Low: CDC.”