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South Carolina’s Teen Birth Rates Continue Decline but There’s More Work to Do

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

October 1, 2018—Columbia, SC: South Carolina’s teen birth rate has declined by 70% since peaking in 1991, continuing decades of success for communities across the state. This includes a 9% decrease from 2016 to 2017, landing the teen birth rate for 15-19 year olds at 21.7 per 1,000 females. Older youth (18-19 year olds) continue to drive the overall South Carolina teen birth rate, currently making up 75% of all teen births.

Vulnerable teens need more information about preventing STIs and HIV.

STI and HIV rates remain an area of concern. In 2016, South Carolina ranked in the top 10 nationally for rates of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea. From 2016-2017, South Carolina saw an 11% increase in the rate for Chlamydia, a 35% increase in the rate for Gonorrhea, while HIV prevalence saw a 5% decrease (15-19 year olds, per 100,000 population).

Youth-serving professionals need continued support.                 

The South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (SC Campaign) trains youth-serving professionals in programs that emphasize abstinence as well as knowledge about effective forms of birth control and condom use among sexually active teens. This is critical to not only preventing teen pregnancy, but also STIs and HIV.

Reaching parents is key!

Reaching parents is very important, especially during months like October when professionals in the field highlight national “Let’s Talk Month.” Find more details about this public awareness campaign and events sponsored by the SC Campaign here -

Statement from SC Campaign CEO:

Beth De Santis, SC Campaign CEO, says, A 70% decline in our state’s teen birth rate since 1991 is a point of pride for our state.  While we are impressed with the declines, we recognize work must continue by all of us to maintain success.

The SC Campaign is committed to supporting professionals and parents, making sure South Carolina's youth get effective health education and increased access to reproductive health services.

With 3,406 births to teens in 2017 and a continual increase in STI rates, we must continue to help professionals and parents reach our most vulnerable youth.  It takes sustained commitment and support to keep our young people healthy.”

About the South Carolina Campaign:
The mission of the SC Campaign is to improve the health and economic well-being of individuals, communities and the state of South Carolina by preventing teen pregnancy. To achieve its mission, the SC Campaign works with a variety of programs – public, private, school and community based – in all regions of the state.  For more information on this news release, county specific teen birth data or general inquiries please visit


Communications Department

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