CDC: Rate of teen births in U.S. declines

However illicit drug use is up among eight graders

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However illicit drug use is up among eight graders

The birth rate for U.S. teens declined for a second consecutive year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

According to America’s Children In Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, baby’s born to 15-19 year-olds dropped by six percent.  “Despite a little blip a few years ago, they continue on this downward trend,” says Edward Sondik, director of the CDC. “So we are seeing significant social changes right in front of us.”

In 2009, the number of teen births was 20.1 per 1,000, with 21.7 in 2008 and 22.1 in 2007.  While the decline is considered good news, the U.S. remains in the top spot for teen pregnancies as well as teen abortions, according to a 1999 report.

While the exact causes for the decline in teen births are unknown, birth rates as a whole have decreased in the United States.


Some other facts in the report include:

-The number of adolescents that reported ever having sex dropped from 48% in 2007, to 46% in 2009.

-Roughly 10%, or 7.5 million children did not have health coverage in 2009.

-Teen binge drinking, defined as five or more alcoholic beverages in a row, dropped from 25% in 2009 to 23% in 2010.

-Eleven percent of 12th graders smoke cigarettes, which remained about the same.

-The number of eighth graders using illegal drugs jumped from 8% in 2009 to nearly 10% in 2010.

According to the The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, teen pregnancies in 2008 cost taxpayers a about $10.9 billion in 2008.  The costs are attributed to “increased costs for health care, foster care, incarceration, and lost tax revenue.”

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