The Blog with the Search Engine for Statistics

Monday, October 26, 2009

Teenage Pregnancy Statistics and Live Births - The Babies are Comin'

My grandson Xander photographed by Joseph Sadlo of Eden NY
Teenage pregnancy statistics seem to be in demand according to my blog stats. By looking at my teens' friends' profiles, I can see that teenage pregnancies are no longer an uncommon occurrence, and hearing that a teen friend is pregnant is no longer shocking news.

I've been wanting to post some recent statistics on teenage pregnancy since I wrote my short blog post on Sex and the City and Teen Pregnancies but got sidetracked by life (certainly not by sex or TV). I recalled reading that teen pregnancies were on a steady decline, yet over the last year it seemed as if my teens had more friends than usual displaying pregnant teenage bellies on MySpace or Facebook. Both of my teen daughters' cell phones have adorable pictures of newborn babies sent to them from a new teen mom, and it isn't highly unusual for a group of teens to have a sleepover at a hospital to support a teenage laboring (or false-laboring) friend. My kids tell me who's been pregnant, who's had an abortion (or two or three) and have pretty much informed me that they are the only virgins in the world.

When my 20-somethings were in high school, there were teen pregnancies here and there, but it certainly seems as if I hear more about them now. Are more teens having babies or is the world of social media just increasing awareness? Statistics show that more teens are having babies, but they still aren't at the percentages of live births that prevailed in the 90's . From 1991 to 2005, teen pregnancies were consistently declining. A large Center for Disease Control report shows that abortion rates overall were declining, however teenage abortion statistics fluctuated.

Then came the news - 2006 and 2007 statistics showing that teenage pregnancies and live births were on the rise. has an easy to read 2008 pdf file with statistics and tables on teen births by year, state and even city. Although the recent small increases are relighting a fire underneath sex education, as explains:

Despite the recent increase, the overall 2006 teen birth rate was 32% lower than the recent peak rate of 61.8 in 1991 and 12% lower than the 2000 rate of 47.7.
...between 2000 and 2006, the annual number of births to teen females has declined by 7%. also has a webpage listing a variety of statistics on teen births 1991 - 2005, and has a webpage with a list of 100 indicators for child health that they offer in their databank.

What's often overlooked when citing the increasing trend of teen births is the fact that all live births in general, to women of all ages, have increased during the same period as well. It's also important to remember that the data defined as "teenagers" is often grouped under different age ranges between organizations.

The CDC is likely the most frequently-referenced website for United States birth statistics, and they have a simple "Fast Stats" page with the national "basic" statistics on birth. The "Fast Stats" for teens states there were 435,436 live births to 15-19 year olds in 2006.

The entire 2006 report is in a 102 page pdf file. If you need to create your own tables, check out the CDC's Vital Stats statistics tool. There's also a 2008 Teenage Pregnancy statistics page, however much of that data appears to be from 2004.

The number of teen pregnancies that ended in successful births as reported in the CDC National Vital Statistics System Table 1993-2006 is as follows:

Year % Births to Under 20 years of age
1993 12.8
1994 13.1
1995 13.1
1996 12.9
1997 12.7
1998 12.5
1999 12.3
2000 11.8
2001 11.3
2002 10.8
2003 10.3
2004 10.3
2005 10.2
2006 10.4

(I can't seem to format the table for this blog so you'll have to squint to make out the separations in the columns.)

The CDC also has some stats on sexual behavior (intercourse, contraception, oral sex), which parents may or may not want to know. You can find other behavioral statistics at the website, at their webpage for Americas Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being for 2009 under "behavior".

2006 figures from the national Center for Disease Control show that 41.9 births per 1,000 females aged 15–19 is the current rate of live births for teens.

From the Rural Assistance Center:
Teen pregnancy rates in the United States are higher than most of the industrialized world with 31% of all teenage girls getting pregnant at least once before they reach age 20. This results in 750,000 teen pregnancies a year. According to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, between 2005 and 2006, births to teens rose by 20,834 for a total of 435,427 live births to children and teens between the ages 10 and 19 years of age - the first increase in 15 years.

About 760,000 teens become pregnant each year; 80% of those pregnancies are unintended and nearly one-third end in abortions.

According to data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the preliminary birth rate for U.S. teenagers 15–19 years rose 3 percent between 2005 and 2006, the first increase reported since 1991. Three in ten teen girls become pregnant by age 20 and most of these pregnancies are unintended. Additionally one-quarter of teen parents have a second child before they turn 20.

A CDC "Quick Stats" report on live teen births has a simple graph demonstrating the decrease, however shows only ages 15 and up. Teen pregnancies from 18 and 19 year olds increased the most. Their statistics reported are as follows:
After increasing 23% overall from 1986 to a peak in 1991 and then decreasing 34% by 2005, the birth rate for teens aged 15--19 years increased 5% from 2005 to 2007. Most of this increase occurred in 2006. Increases in birth rates from 2005 to 2007 for teens aged 18--19 years were slightly larger than the increases for teens aged 15--17 years.

There is a pdf "Preliminary Data Report" on births for 2007, which reportedly shows that 2007 has the "highest number of births ever recorded in the United States." Look out Baby Boomers - you've been beat.

With regard to teenage pregnancies ending in a successful birth, the report states:
The birth rate for U.S. teenagers 15–19 years rose again in 2007 by about 1 percent, to 42.5 births per 1,000. The birth rate for teenagers 15–17 and 18–19 years each increased by 1 percent in 2007, to 22.2 and 73.9 per 1,000, respectively. The rate for the youngest group, 10–14 years, was unchanged. Birth rates also increased for women in their twenties, thirties, and early forties between 2006 and 2007. The 2007 total fertility rate increased to 2,122.5 births per 1,000 women. All measures of childbearing by unmarried women rose to historic levels in 2007, with the number of births, birth rate, and proportion of births to unmarried women increasing 3 to 5 percent.

In 2004, the CDC reported that in 2002 births to young teenage mothers (10 - 14) were at the lowest level since 1948. Their interpretation of the data:
Between 1990 and 2002 almost 137,000 of these young mothers delivered a live birth. This number has declined steadily from a peak of 12,901 in 1994, to the current low of 7,315. If the 1990 rate had held through 2002, there would have been 34,336 additional births to the youngest teens. The 43 percent decline in the number of births occurred despite the 16 percent rise in the female population aged 10-14 years.

About two-fifths of the pregnancies among 10–14 year olds in 2000 ended in a live birth, two-fifths ended in induced abortion, and about one in six ended in a fetal loss (28). These proportions have been fairly stable since 1976, when this series of national pregnancy estimates was inaugurated.

If you're interested in seeing a proportional graph of 10-14 year old pregnancies and abortions, take a look at the 2004 pdf file of 1990 to 2002 data. There's a lot of sadness behind those numbers.

The 2007 pdf preliminary report states:
Among teenagers (under 20 years), only the rate for the youngest group, 10–14 years, was unchanged, at 0.6 births per 1,000. The number of births to this age group fell 3 percent, reflecting the declining number of females aged 10–14 years.

I find that interesting since I've noticed a prevailing trend for adults (and teenagers) to believe that more kids are getting pregnant at younger ages.

A "provisional" CDC report with 2008 and 2009 vital statistics on birth, death, marriage and divorce is available, however there is no breakdown of age, and the data does not include some large states. Are we seeing downward trends?

You can find information on birth and fertility among women of all ages, as well as abortion rates and extensive statistics and trends on health issues in the CDC's 600+ page pdf 2008 Health Report of the United States. Comparison statistics from the CDC and The Guttmacher Institute in this comprehensive report. Links to pregnancy, abortion and std data can be found on the CDC "Reproductive Health" page.

A brief snippet of some abortion statistics:
In 2005, 820,151 legal induced abortions were reported to CDC from 49 reporting areas. This total represents a 2.3% decrease from the 839,226 abortions reported for 2004. The abortion ratio for 2005 decreased since 2004. The ratio was 233 legal induced abortions per 1,000 live births in 2005. In 2005, the abortion rate was 15 per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years of age, the same since 2000. For the same 46 reporting areas, the abortion rate remained relatively constant during 1998–2005.
Their 36 page pdf report, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Abortion Surveillance United States 2005, published in November 2008, reports as follows:
A total of 820,151 legal induced abortions were reported to CDC for 2005 from 49 reporting areas, the abortion ratio (number of abortions per 1,000 live births) was 233, and the abortion rate was 15 per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years. For the 46 reporting areas that have consistently reported since 1995, the abortion rate declined during 1995–2000 but has remained unchanged since 2000.
For 2005, the highest percentages of reported abortions were for women who were known to be unmarried (81%), white (53%), and aged 25 years (50%).
For the 46 reporting areas that have consistently reported since 1995, the number of abortions has steadily declined over the previous 10 years. The abortion rate declined from 1995 to 2000, but remained unchanged since 2000. In 2004, as in the previous years, deaths related to legal induced abortions occurred rarely.
The abortion ratios by state or area of occurrence ranged from 48 per 1,000 live births in Idaho to 756 per 1,000 in NYC. Among women aged 15–44 years, rates by occurrence ranged from four per 1,000 women in Idaho to 30 per 1,000 in New York State.
Women known to be aged 20–24 years obtained 33% of all abortions for which age was adequately reported. Adolescents aged under 15 years obtained less than 1.0% of all abortions in the 48 areas that reported age.
Statistics on Legal Abortions:

Year Total Abortions % under 19 years old

1995 1210883 20.1
1996 1225937 20.3
1997 1186039 20.1
1998 884273 19.8
1999 861789 19.2
2000 857475 18.8
2001 853485 18.1
2002 854122 17.5
2003 848163 17.4
2004 839226 17.4
2005 820151 17.1
(Ugh, tables aren't working...)

If you're interested in the quadratic and linear trends of teen pregnancies, births and abortions as well as contraception and teen behavior, the Guttmacher Institute has a 2007 pdf report on teen pregnancy and behavioral risk that is the result of a 16 year study. It's worth a read even if you don't understand quadratic trends. (I'll have to look that up...)

Granted, teen births increased a bit - but 10.4 in the 21st century is still a heck of a lot better than the 13.1 of the 20th century. But the little jump did make the news. published a 2009 article announcing teenage pregnancy and birth statistics for 2006 and 2007, however their article pointed out that the increase from 2006 to 2007 was only one percent, which is lower than the 2.8 percent increase from 2005 to 2006.

In January of 2009, USA Today reported state-by-state increases in teen pregnancies from 2006 statistics. Mississippi (68.4%), Texas (63.1%) and New Mexico (64.1%) had the highest increases. Northeastern states showed the lowest increases, and New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia even showed a decrease in the number of teen pregnancies. Nonetheless, the increases were enough to drop down the mother's average age to have their first child from 25.2 to 25. USA Today reports that this is the first drop in the first-time mother's age since 1968.

If you're looking for state statistics on teenage pregnancies and births, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Teenage Pregnancies has lots of statistics on teenage pregnancies, including a link to state-by-state statistics on teen pregnancies, demographics and trend data, charts, related resources, and search tools for more particular indicators, data and statistics on teen pregnancies.

They have a 2006 list of the number of teen births by state, which indicates there were 435,436 teen births in the US in 2006. (No surprise that the largest states have the largest numbers of teen births.) Take note of the fine print when reading their reported number of teen pregnancies for 2000 (they report 821,810 nationally), because despite the headline stating 2000 statistics, the fine print says it was collected from 2004 statistics - but this is before the 2006 increases. Your best bet for quick teen birth rate statistics by state is to look at their webpage that shows 2009 pdf file which has a table of teen pregnancy statistics from 1991 to 2006 by state, or their preliminary 2007 data by age.

If you want to data-delve, make sure you look at the Guttmacher Institute's January 2009 report on inaccurate data on teen births. The Guttmacher Institute is concerned with worldwide teenage pregnancies and birth, and they are an oft-quoted source for reproductive data. They do have a "table-maker" which looks pretty easy to use to search for refined data on teenage pregnancies, abortions and health. They also have a webpage listing their published statistics on pregnancies, abortions, funding, contraception and other reproductive issues.

You'd think with technology as sophisticated as it is there would be more up-to-date or even “real time” data on teenage pregnancy statistics.

Data collection should be more like this: Visit Hospital. Deliver Baby. Fill out Birth Certificate on mobile phone. Hit send.

Voila. Real time data transmitted. There's no doubt that teens can text through labor. Just have them send a quick text to vital statistics when the baby is delivered while they're texting their friends. Most teens delivering babies could probably text the information around the world faster than the government can process it.

I really wanted to list some links for worldwide teenage pregnancy statistics, but I'll have to save that for another post. This blog post is getting a little long and a little too disorganized - and it's getting past my bedtime - so it's time to sign off. I'll have to update my search engine tomorrow.

Hope these links will help you find some statistics on teenage pregnancy. If you can't find what you need, try searching for "reproductive health" statistics, "live births," "mortality" and/or "abortion" to search for the statistics you need. If I can help you with anything, just shoot me an email.

My teenage days and my giving birth days are's time for this old body to get to bed....

If you find yourself needing an FDA approved home pregnancy test, home paternity test or fertility test, pay a visit to Test Country for professional, discreet and convenient testing and results.

pregnancy and paternity testing


Peter Chen December 6, 2009 at 9:57 AM  


Thanks for leaving a comment in my blog post My first grandchild at his grandpa's 58th birthday gathering and for that incentive to continue to exercise.

And WOW! Six children and a grandma at 44 (plus?).

Statistics to Share December 6, 2009 at 6:07 PM  

I love your blog Blogger Tips and Tricks - as you can see my blog needs lots of help! I never did find a picture of your grandchild. And I think I said go have a nice dinner instead of exercising :) BTW, I love the movie The Gods Must be Crazy - saw it on your profile. Just had to mention that!

#WAD08 Bloggers Unite World Aids Day

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Never Never Land, TN, United States
Mom of six kids (30, 27, 25, 22, 21, 13) in a far-from-average-statistics family. Freelance SEO Content Writer on the side. If I can help you in any way, shoot me a virtual letter at writerightforyou at gmail dot com.

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