July 27, 2017

Nation's Teen Birth Rate Hits Record Low

In 2015, the nation’s teen birth rate dropped to an all-time low — 22 births per 1,000 teenage girls. In 1990, this rate was significantly higher at 60 births per 1,000 teenage girls.

In comparing total births by teens for these two dates: 229,715 teen girls gave birth in 2015 and more than double that number — 521,826 teen girls total — gave birth in 1990.

While the nation’s teen birth rate hitting a historic low is great news, the KIDS COUNT Data Center reveals there’s room for improvement.

For instance: Among 18- and 19-year olds, the teen birth rate in 2015 was four times higher (41 births per 1,000 teen girls) than it was for 15- and 17-year-olds (10 births per 1,000 teen girls).

Another sobering statistic: In 17% of teen births on record for 2015, the mothers had already given birth at least once before.

Teenage childbearing can have long-term negative consequences for both the mother and child, according to research.

Babies born to teens are far more likely to be born preterm, with a low birthweight, and have poorer academic and behavioral outcomes. Their families are also more likely to have limited educational and economic resources, which function as barriers to success.

Visit the KIDS COUNT Data Center for more birth data at the national and state-level: