Teenage Pregnancy :: Teenage pregnancy rates hit all-time low

The teenage pregnancy rate in the United States is at an all-time low, while the rate of Caesarean deliveries is at an all-time high.

The birth rate for teen mothers (aged 15 to 19 years) declined by 2% between 2004 and 2005, falling to 40.4 births per 1000 women, the lowest ever recorded in the 65 years for which there are consistent data. The birth rates for women =30 years of age rose in 2005 to levels not seen in almost 40 years. Childbearing by unmarried women also increased to historic record levels for the United States in 2005.

These findings are part of the Annual Summary of Vital Statistics: 2005, published in the February issue of Pediatrics.

As our society moves forward, a more comprehensive approach to reducing adolescent pregnancy is needed. Many risk behaviors, including early and unprotected intercourse, are linked and share common motivations. Programs designed to prevent pregnancy need to address these other behaviors as well. A variety of life choices need to be available for teens, and programs need to address real economic barriers if the unintended teen pregnancy rate in the United States is to be reduced further.

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