Some good news for US regarding teen birth rate
United States has been facing a serious problem of rising teen pregnancies in recent times. In 2013, US saw 273,105 babies born to women between the ages of 15-19 years. The problem with teen pregnancy is that the girls have to face all the issues as women and it becomes extremely difficult for them to handle all this, since the bodies of teenage girls are not yet developed in order to have a healthy birth.
But recently, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has given some good news in the form of a record fall in the rate of teen birth rate in the United States. For teenage girls, the risks are more related to socio economic factors than biological effects of the age.
Here is some more information on the record breaking and record making good news that US received about the low teen birth rate.
1 Teen birth rate in United States
In 2013, US saw 273,105 babies born to teenage mother from the age of 15-19 years. This gave it a rate of 26.5 per 1000 women in the given age group. All this data was collected by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unwanted Pregnancy, which also said that the rate has steadily declined since 1991, when the rate was 115 per 1000 women in the same age group.
Also the teen birth rates have declined over the course of last 5 years. In the year 2010, according to the CDC, the teen birth rate was 34.3 births per 1000 teens. Compared to this, the rate in 1991 was 61.8 births per 1000 teens.
But according to the federal agency, the teen birth rate in the United States remains nine time higher than any other developed country.
2 Inequalities in teen birth rates
In the report, there are very significant discrepancies amongst the teen birth rates when seen in accordance with different races and ethnicities.
From the year 2012-2013, the teen birth rates have decreased 9% amongst non-Hispanic white females, 11% for non-Hispanic African American females and American Indian/Alaska natives and 10% for Asian/Pacific Islanders and Hispanics.
But despite the decline in teen birth rate, significant irregularities remain in teen pregnancy and childbirth continues to carry severe socio-economic costs. The CDC is trying to focus on the Hispanics and black youths which comprised of 57% of US teen births in 2013. They are focusing on spreading awareness about the risks of teen pregnancy amongst the youths of these ethnicities.
3 Importance of prevention and information
According to the CDC, teen pregnancy and childbirth have severe social and economic impacts, both short term and long term on the teenaged parents and their children.
In 2010, teenaged pregnancy and childbirth cost $9.4 billion to the US taxpayers for the increase in the foster care and health care expenses.
Pregnancy and childbirth in teenage years also contribute significantly to school dropouts. It has been found that only 50% of teen mothers get their high school diploma by the time they reach 22 years of age, as compared to 90% of women who had not given birth during their teen years. Also the children of such teen parents face the social stigma and problems like having uneducated parents, low level income and growing up in a single parent family leading to poor performance in school and other behavioral problems.
4 Steps to reduce the teen birth rate further
CDC considers fighting teen pregnancy one of its six winnable battles in public health. They are running programs backed with evidence about the perils of teenaged pregnancy and childbirths, spreading awareness using positive and protective factors based on knowledge, skills and beliefs related to teen pregnancy.
Some of the programs include knowledge and help about issues like:
- Knowledge of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV-AIDS and pregnancy including methods of prevention.
- Personal values about sex and abstinence.
- Pros and cons of the use of condoms.
- Communication with parents about sex, condoms and contraception.
- Inability to avoid HIV/STD risks and similar risky behavior.
Apart from this, CDC wants adults and parents to play a more active role in their children’s lives and teach them the do’s and don’ts to follow in their own lives.