Teen Birth Rates Decline in all States During the 1990s

For Release: May 30, 2002

Contact: NCHS/CDC Public Affairs, (301) 458-4800

E-mail: paoquery@cdc.gov

Teenage Births in the United States: State Trends, 1991-2000, an Update. NVSR Volume 50, No. 9. 4 pp. (PHS) 2002-1120. pdf icon[PDF – 293 KB]

Teen birth rates in 2000 were significantly lower than in 1991 in every State, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, and Guam, with overall declines ranging from 12 percent in Nebraska to 39 percent in Vermont, according to a new report from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

Generally, the year-to-year declines in the State-specific rates echoed the national declines, but there was considerable variability. Among young teenagers 15-17 years, birth rates dropped in all States, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands. Statistically significant declines ranging from 15 percent (Texas) to 50 percent (Vermont) were reported. Rates for older teenagers, 18-19 years, declined in the Virgin Islands, Guam, the District of Columbia, and all but four States. Statistically significant declines ranged from 6 percent (Georgia) to 38 percent (Alaska).

Although all States experienced a decline in teen birth rates in the last decade, teenage birth rates vary substantially by State. In 2000 rates for teenagers 15-19 years ranged from 23.4 per 1,000 in New Hampshire to 72.0 in Mississippi. Although not directly comparable, because it is a city, the highest rate was for the District of Columbia, 80.7. Among teenagers 15-17 years, the rates ranged from 9.8 in New Hampshire to 45.0 in Mississippi. Rates were higher for the District of Columbia, 60.7; Guam, 55.0; and Puerto Rico, 49.1. Among older teenagers 18-19 years, the rates ranged from 44.5 in Vermont to 114.1 in Arkansas.

Looking at the national picture, the birth rate for U.S. teenagers declined steadily throughout the 1990s, falling from 62.1 births per 1,000 teenagers 15-19 years in 1991 to 48.5 in 2000, a reduction of 22 percent. Rates for teenage subgroups fell as well. The rate for young teenagers 15-17 years dropped 29 percent, from 38.7 to 27.4 per 1,000, and the rate for older teenagers 18-19 years declined 16 percent , from 94.4 to 79.2 per 1,000. The rates for ages 15-19 years and 15-17 years in 2000 were at all-time lows.

Data in this report are based on birth certificates filed in State vital statistics offices and reported to the National Center for Health Statistics through the National Vital Statistics System. For more about the system, to view or download a copy of this report, or for more information on teen births visit the NCHS Web site.

CDC protects people’s health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national, and international organizations.


Page last reviewed: October 6, 2006