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National Teen Birth Rate Cut in Half Since 1991

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The national teen birth rate has been cut in half (52%) from 1991 to 2012, according to data released by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). This is a historic low for the United States. 
"The stunning turnaround in teen births is truly one of the nation's great success stories of the past two decades," said Sarah Brown, CEO of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (The National Campaign). "Clearly, progress can and has been made on a pressing social problem that many once considered intractable and inevitable.”
Although no new state-specific data has been released, we do know that South Carolina’s birth rate trends have followed – and even exceeded in some cases – national trends in recent years.  While the U.S. had a 24.6% teen birth decline among all races from 2007-2011, South Carolina saw a 27.1% decline, according to state-level data from the Department of Health and Environmental Control. Declines in the state were especially impressive among minority teens, both African American and Hispanic. 
Other findings from the new data include:
  • Between 1991 and 2012, the birth rate declined 63% for non-Hispanic black teens, 56% for Hispanic teens, and 53% for non-Hispanic white teens. 
  • The 6% decline in the teen birth rate in 2012 comes on the heels of an 8% decline in 2011 and a 9% decline in 2010. 
  • In 1991 the birth rate was 61.8 births per 1,000 teen aged 15-19; in 2012 it was 29.4. 
To read the full press release from The National Campaign, click here
To view the full report from the NCHS, click here
Statement from SC Campaign CEO, Forrest Alton:
This continued decrease in teen birth rates across the nation and indeed in South Carolina is a success story that deserves much more recognition.  The SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy was formed 20 years ago (1994) to address growing concern about teen births in our state.  The fact that we have seen rates decrease by half nationally over that time is beyond remarkable.  We look forward to being able to release state specific data soon which hopefully will confirm this level of progress at the state level as well.  Despite these declines we must remembers the rate of teen births in our state remains far too high.