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2015 Kids Count Report Shows Continued Decline in South Carolina Teen Birth Rate

Friday, July 24, 2015

This week, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released its latest Kids Count report, positioning South Carolina in its highest ranking to date – moving from 45th to 42nd in the nation for child well being.  Improvements in education, health, and family/community played a role in the state’s ranking. Of particular interest, the decline in the number of 15-19 year old teen births was the single greatest improvement among all indicators, from 51 per 1,000 in 2008 to 32 per 1,000 in 2013.

Doug Taylor, Chief Program Officer at the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, is cautiously optimistic about the latest Kids Count report. “We are encouraged by the steady decline in the number of teen births in South Carolina. However, the report also indicates the state is not making progress in a number of categories that can impact teen pregnancy including the percent of children living in poverty which has increased from 22% to 27% and the percent of children living in single parent families has increased from 39% to 42%. It is important for all of us who strive to make a difference in the lives of young people to work in a cohesive manner to impact the systems that can lead to sustainable improvements.”

Of the indicators presented, South Carolina did worsen in several categories from 2008 to 2013.

  • Children living in poverty – from 22% to 27%
  • Children whose parents lack secure employment – from 30% to 35%
  • Children living in high home cost burden – from 31% to 32%
  • Children not attending preschool – from 54% to 59%
  • Eighth graders not proficient in math – from 68% to 69%
  • Children living in single parent families – from 39% to 42%
  • Children living in high-poverty areas – from 6% to 15%

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