The Issue

Since the early 90s, the teen birth rate in South Carolina has fallen by 64% - a remarkable decline and one of the state’s greatest success stories. This includes a substantial decrease between 2014 and 2015 when the teen birth rate declined by 8% for 15-19 year olds, landing at 26.1 per 1,000 - the lowest in recorded history. Over the last 25 years, declines have been most substantial among African American youth ages 15-17 whose teen birth rate has decreased by 79% since 1991.

While success should be celebrated, we must not confuse progress with victory. South Carolina still has the 16th highest teen birth rate in the nation; 4,020 teens gave birth in our state in 2015; and many counties lag far behind national averages.

2015 South Carolina Teen Birth Facts:

  • Every 131 minutes, a teen (ages 15-19) gives birth.
  • 4,020 teens (age 15-19) gave birth in 2015.
  • 74% of all teen births occurred among 18-19 year olds in 2015.
  • 40% of high school students report they have ever had sex.
  • 31% of high school students reported using a birth control method (pill, patch, ring, IUD, implant).

Everyone has a role to play in reducing teen birth rates. Find out how you can get involved in your community. Explore our county pagesstate map and  fact sheets to learn more.

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Teen Pregnancy in South Carolina Sources

  1. SC Teen Birth Data:  Data Source: Department of Health and Environment Control, S.C. Community Assessment Network (SCAN), Infant Mortality Module: http://scangis.dhec.sc.gov/scan/
  2. US Teen Birth Data: Data Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics Report.
  3. Teen sexual behavior data:  Data Source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
  4. Oldendick, R. (2013). Summary of findings for the South Carolina State Survey. Columbia, SC: USC Institute for Public Service and Policy Research.