Decrease in teen pregnancy

Man leaning in to kiss woman

Teen mothers and their infants are at increased risk for lifelong health problems and social and economic challenges.1 Today the U.S. teen birth rate is at an all-time low.2 Since 1991, the rates of teen pregnancy have dropped by half.3 In 2013, the CDC reported that birth rates for U.S. teens 15-19 years old dropped to a record low not seen since 1946.4 This decline in teen pregnancies crossed all races and ethnicities.5

Decreases in teen pregnancy rates are partially due to lower rates of sexual activity among young women.6 Also, more of those who are sexually active appear to be using birth control than in previous years.7

Several federal programs have made reducing teen pregnancy a high priority. One is the Title X Family Planning Program, which provides high-quality affordable family planning and reproductive health care for low-income teens.

As early as 1997, HHS-supported initiatives that included teen pregnancy prevention had reached about 30% of U.S. communities.8 In addition, since 2009, HHS has reviewed results of programs to reduce teen pregnancy to learn which ones work. OAH maintains a list of programs that have been shown to be effective in reducing teen pregnancy to help states focus on successful programs.9 Since 2010, OAH’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program has funded grants supporting the replication of evidence-based programs and the implementation of demonstration programs to prevent teen pregnancy. ACF’s Family and Youth Services Bureau supports state, tribal, and community efforts to promote comprehensive sex education, adulthood preparation programs, and abstinence education.

Sources

  1. OAH, Teen Pregnancy and Childbearing
  2. CDC, Teen Pregnancy
  3. CDC, Births: Final Data for 2012
  4. CDC, Births: Final Data for 2012
  5. CDC, Teen Pregnancy, About Teen Pregnancy – Teen Pregnancy in the United States
  6. CDC, Teenagers in the United States: Sexual Activity, Contraceptive Use, and Childbearing, 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth
  7. CDC, Teenagers in the United States: Sexual Activity, Contraceptive Use, and Childbearing, 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth
  8. HHS, ASPE, The National Strategy to Prevent Out-of-Wedlock Teen Pregnancy Prevention
  9. OAH, Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPP)