The Issue

Since the early 90s, the teen birth rate in South Carolina has fallen by 70%. 

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. Over the last 25 years, declines have been most substantial among African American youth ages 15-17 whose teen birth rate has decreased by 83% 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 (2017). 3,406 teens gave birth in our state in 2017 and many counties lag behind national averages.

2017 South Carolina Teen Birth Facts:

  • Every 154 minutes, a teen (ages 15-19) gives birth.
  • 3,406 teens (15-19) in South Carolina gave birth in 2017.
  • 75% of all teen births occurred among 18-19 year olds.
  • Black teens (15-19) experienced a 5% decrease from 2016-2017.
  • White teens (15-19) experienced an 12% decrease from 2016-2017.
  • Hispanic teens (15-19) experienced a 5% decrease  from 2016-2017.

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

Teen Birth Data Infographic


Teen Pregnancy in South Carolina Sources

  1. US Teen Birth Data: Data Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics Report.
  2. SC Teen Birth Data:  Data Source: Department of Health and Environment Control, S.C. Community Assessment Network (SCAN), Infant Mortality Module:
  3. Teen sexual behavior data:  Data Source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
  4. Lyle, M. (2017). South Carolina State Survey Technical Report. Columbia, SC: USC Institute for Public Service and Policy Research.