The teen pregnancy rate and abortion rate in the United States have hit a record low and more women are having children out of wedlock, a study published Monday said.
The teen pregnancy rate dropped 38 percent from 1990 to 2004, with abortion rates down by half and birth rates down by more than a third, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Study said.
AdvertisementHowever, pregnancy rates among Hispanic and black teens and young women were more than double that of their white counterparts.
The percentage of births wanted at conception fell from 90 percent in 1996 to 86 percent in 2003, with just 74 percent of black women, 83 percent Hispanic women and 89 percent of white women saying their pregnancies were planned.
Some 37 percent of pregnancies for black women ended in abortion, compared with 12 percent for white women and 19 percent for Hispanic women.
Total abortion rates, however, were down to 19 percent of pregnancies in 2004 from 24 percent in 1990.
And after a period of steady decline, birth rates are up to 66.3 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 from 63.6 in 1997.
Nearly 6.4 million pregnancies were recorded in 2004, of which 4.11 million ended in live births, 1.22 million were terminated by abortion, and 1.06 million were lost to miscarriage or stillbirths.
At that rate, the average US woman is expected to have 3.2 pregnancies in her lifetime, while black and Hispanic women will have 4.2 pregnancies and white women will have 2.7 pregnancies.
Pregnancy rates remain highest for women in their twenties: about one in six were pregnant in 2004.
However, rates for women in their thirties and older have been steadily rising since 1991, the report said.
The pregnancy rate for women under the age of 25 dropped to 38 percent of all pregnancies in 2004 from 43 percent in 1990.
Some 45 percent of pregnancies in 2004 occurred among unmarried women and they are increasingly more likely to carry those pregnancies to term. The abortion rate for unmarried women dropped from 47 percent of pregnancies in 1990 to 35 percent in 2004.
Just six percent of pregnancies among married women ended in abortion in 2004, down from eight percent in 1990.