The national teen birth rate has fallen to a record low according to analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Thursday.
From 2006 to 2014, the teen birth rate declined 41 percent – the nation’s lowest rate to ever be recorded. The biggest decline was seen amongst Hispanic and Black teens whose rates dropped by 50 percent since 2006 (51 percent and 44 percent, respectively).
However, even with the dramatic reduction, Hispanic and Black teens still remain twice as likely to give birth in their teens as their white peers.
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“The gap is narrowing, but profound disparities remain,” said Bill Albert, spokesman for the National Campaign To Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. “Even with these remarkable declines, African-American teens and Latino teens are far more likely to become pregnant at a time in their life when they say they don’t want to.”
He credits the reduction in births to teens having less sex and more consistent use of contraception. The CDC also found disparities across state and county lines. Many counties with the highest teen birth rates were located in the South and Southwest.
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“These data underscore that the solution to our nation’s teen pregnancy problem is not going to be a one-size-fits-all – teen birth rates vary greatly across state lines and even within states,” said Lisa Romero, lead author of the analysis. “We can ensure the success of teen pregnancy prevention efforts by capitalizing on the expertise of our state and local public health colleagues. Together, we can work to implement proven prevention programs that take into account unique, local needs.”
It was estimated in 2010 that teen births cost the U.S. approximately $9.4 billion each year.
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