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Teen Birth Rate Declines in the US

by Sheela Philomena on April 7, 2011 at 10:48 AM
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 Teen Birth Rate Declines in the US

Teen birth rate in US decline to the lowest level on record in 2009, reveals report. In 2009, some 410,000 teenage girls aged 15 to 19 years gave birth in the United States, making for a national teen birth rate of around 39 births per 1,000 females, a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

The CDC report is the second in as many months after a National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) report in early February that provided similar data.

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Teen childbearing has long raised concerns among health officials and policymakers for several reasons, including that babies born to teens are more likely to be underweight or preterm than infants born to older women, and are more likely to die during infancy, both the CDC and NCHS reports say.

"Teen childbearing also perpetuates a cycle of disadvantage: teen mothers are less likely to finish high school, and their children are more likely to have low school achievement, drop out of high school, and give birth themselves as teens," the CDC report said.
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"Each year, teen childbearing costs the United States approximately $6 billion in lost tax revenue and nearly $3 billion in public expenditures. However, these costs are $6.7 billion lower than they would have been had teen childbearing not decreased."

But, despite the good news, the US teen birth rate remains one of the highest in developed countries, says the CDC report, citing the most recent available UN data.

According to the UN Demographic Yearbook 2008, the teen birth rate in Canada was 14 percent, in Japan it was five percent, and in Singapore around six percent.

In France and Germany in 2008, around 10 babies are born to every 1,000 girls age 15 to 19.

The highest teen birth rate in Europe was in Bulgaria, where in 2008, 43.4 babies were born per 1,000 teen girls.

Source: AFP
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