38 Eye Popping Teen Pregnancy Statistics

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Teen pregnancy is often viewed as an American issue, and for good reason. 30% of American teen girls will become pregnant at least once before they reach the age of 20. That means there are nearly 750,000 teen pregnancies in the United States every year, making it the leading cause of why teen girls make the decision to drop out of school.

In comparison, the Canadian teenage birth rate was just 16 per 1,000 girls. American rates reached a historic low in 2013, but it was still nearly 50% higher than the Canadian rate. For women aged 15-19, the teenage birth rate was 26.6 per 1,000.

The trends of teen pregnancies in the United States are decreasing from peak numbers in 1990, which saw a birth rate of 61.8 per 1,000 and a teen pregnancy rate of 116.9 per thousand. These statistics, however, show that there is still a long way to go when compared to other developed nations.

Statistics About Teen Pregnancies

1. Parenthood is the leading cause of why teen girls decide to drop out of school. More than 50% of teen mothers will never go on to graduate from high school. (Do Something)

2. Fewer than 2% of teen moms will be able to earn a college degree by the age of 30. (Do Something)

3. About 1 in 4 teenage mothers will have a second child within 24 months of having their first child. (Do Something)

4. In 2008, the teen pregnancy rate amongst African-American/Black teen girls and Hispanic teen girls was 2.5 times higher than the teen pregnancy rate of Caucasian/White teen girls in the same age groups. (Do Something)

5. 80% of the fathers who participate in a teen pregnancy situation will not go on to marry the mother of their child. (Do Something)

6. Teens who are sexually active and are not using contraceptives have a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within 12 months. (Do Something)

7. In 2014, a total of 249,078 babies were born to women in the 15-19 age demographic. Birth rates fell 11% for women aged 15-17 and 7% for women aged 18-19. (CDC)

8. Teens who are in child welfare systems are at a high risk of teen pregnancy than other groups. Teen girls who are living in foster care are more than twice as likely to become pregnant than those who are not in foster care. (CDC)

9. In 2010, teen pregnancy and childbirth accounted for at least $9.4 billion in costs to US taxpayers due to increased healthcare costs, foster care costs, and the increased incarceration rates among children of teen parents. (CDC)

10. About half of teen mothers will earn their high school diploma by the age of 22. (CDC)

11. Children of teenage mothers are more likely to have lower school achievement, drop out of high school, have more health problems, face unemployment, and become a teen parent themselves compared to children their age in the general population. (CDC)

12. About 77% of the teenage pregnancies which occur in the United States are considered to be unplanned pregnancies. (Teen Help)

13. 89% of teenage parents are unmarried. (Teen Help)

14. 40% of teenage girls who first had sex at the age of 14 or under report that the sex was either involuntary or unwanted. (Teen Help)

15. 45% of teen pregnancies are terminated for some reason in the United States. 30% of them end with an abortion, while the other 15% are ended because of a miscarriage that occurs. (Teen Help)

16. Both Germany and France have a teen pregnancy rate that is 4 times lower than the teen pregnancy rates in the United States. Japan’s teen pregnancy rates are 8 times lower. (Teen Help)

17. Teenage mothers had fewer babies in 2010 than in any year since the mid-1940s. (Do Something)

18. More than 50% of all mothers who are on welfare had their first child as a teenager. 2 out of 3 families that are begun by unmarried teen mothers are poor. (Do Something)

19. New Mexico has the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the United States, with a rate of 72 per 1,000 teen girls. In comparison, New Hampshire has the lowest rates of teen pregnancies at 26 per 1,000 teen girls from 2011 data. (The National Campaign)

20. As the teen pregnancy rates have declined by 55% from 1990-2011, the teen birth rate has declined by 48% and the teen abortion rate has declined by 67%. (The National Campaign)

21. In 2009, 46% of high school students reported that they have had sexual intercourse at least once. (HHS)

22. 18% of 15-year-old girls will give birth to their first child before she reaches her 20th birthday. This rate is higher for African-American/Black girls of the same age (25%) and Hispanic girls (33%). A 15-year-old Caucasian/White girl has just a 10% chance of giving birth to her first child before her 20th birthday. (HHS)

23. Since 1996, 76% of adolescent mothers between the ages of 15-17 lived with at least one of their parents. (HHS)

24. Abstinence is reported to be the most effective method of preventing an unplanned pregnancy. (HHS)

25. Research on virginity pledges found that delays in the onset of sexual intercourse could be as long as 18 months, but it would also reduce the likeliness of using contraception when becoming sexually active by one-third. (SIECUS)

26. The average age of sexual debut for teens in abstinence only groups was 14 years, 9 months, which was the same average age for control groups. (SIECUS)

27. Pledgers in abstinence-only programs may delay the onset of sexual intercourse, but they are more likely to have engaged in oral and anal sex than teens in non-abstinence programs. Among virgins, both teen boys and teen girls are 6 times more likely to have had oral sex when in a pledging program compared to teens in a non-pledging program. (SIECUS)

28. In communities where at least 20% of young adults have taken a virginity pledge, STD rates are 8.9%. In communities where fewer than 20% of young adults have taken such a pledge, the STD rate is 5.5%. (SIECUS)

29. Students in an abstinence-only program are 4 times more likely to engage in anal sex compared to students in more traditional sexual education programs. (SIECUS)

30. In a study of 13 abstinence-only programs involving 16,000 students, the programs were found to be ineffective in changing any behaviors that were examined, including sexual intercourse, the number of sexual partners, and condom use. Teen pregnancy rates were also unaffected, leading to a conclusion that a drop of the US teen pregnancy rate was due to an improvement in the use of contraception. (SIECUS)

31. About 2,000 teen girls are told that they have become pregnant every day, on average, in the United States. (HRF)

32. The average amount of child support that is provided by a teen father is just $800, but teenage mothers often need a minimum of $10,000 in support in order to properly provide for their child. (HRF)

33. 20% of the new cases of HIV or AIDS that are diagnosed each year comes from the 13-24 age demographic. This age demographic also receives 50% of the new STI diagnoses that occur annually in the United States. This is despite the fact that this age group accounts for only 25% of the sexually active population. (HRF)

34. Teen girls have a higher risk of high blood pressure than pregnant women in their 20s or 30s. There are also higher risks of preeclampisa, which can cause the hands and face to swell, as well as cause organ damage. There may also be higher risks of suffering from postpartum depression (WebMD)

35. Teen girls who are pregnant are at a higher risk of not getting adequate prenatal care, especially if there is not any support from their parents. (WebMD)

36. Teens are at a higher risk of having a low birth-weight baby, which weighs between 3.3-5.5 pounds. (WebMD)

37. Teen birth rates are higher in rural counties than in urban centers or suburban counties. This is regardless of race or ethnicity. In 2010, rural counties saw teen birth rates that were one-third higher than the rest of the United States. (CDC)

38. From 1990-2010, the birth rates among teens in rural counties declined 32%, compared to a 49% decline in urban centers and a 40% decline in suburban counties. (CDC)

Teen pregnancies in the United States have been falling dramatically for the last 20 years, but they are still much higher than the rest of the developed world. Compared to the developing world, these teen pregnancy statistics may seem like a success, but the fact is that there is still a long way to go. Abstinence may be the most effective way to prevent an unplanned pregnancy, but that does not mean we should not be teaching teens about effective contraceptives, how to obtain them, and how to use them.