There is Still an Epidemic! that Need Addressed
By Chantelle Cotton
Did You Know?
The United States has the highest rates of teenage pregnancies and births in the western industrialized world. Teen pregnancy costs the United States at least $7 billion annually. Keep reading for more interesting facts on teen pregnancy statistics.
The fact that just under 1/3 of all girls in the United States will get pregnant in their teenage years is a sobering thought. Obviously, teen pregnancy is a problem in the United States. And the following statistics back that up:
• Every year around 750,000 teenagers will get pregnant.
• Depending on the state, teenage birth rates are incredibly different. Nevada has the highest rate: 113 per 1000 and North Dakota the lowest 42 per 1000.
• Unmarried teenagers having children account for 24 percent of all unmarried expectant mothers.
• More than 2/3 of all teenagers who have a baby will not graduate from high school.
• Billions of dollars are spent taking care of teenage mothers and their children and they are more likely to be in the poverty bracket.
On the flip side, millions of dollars are spent in prevention programs. The good news is that teen births have dropped by almost a third since the beginning of the 1990s. With abstinence education as the forerunner during this time, the numbers now show that more teens are choosing to wait.
Here are a few other statistics that hopefully point to even better prevention rates in the years to come:
• In 2002, the abortion rate among teenage mothers was 50 percent lower than its high point in 1988.
• Among black teenagers, the pregnancy rate dropped around 40 percent since 1990.
• Among Hispanic teenagers the pregnancy rate dropped around 19 percent since 1990.
• Among white teenagers, the pregnancy rate dropped around 34 percent since 1990.
So, while teenage pregnancies are dropping, it is still a constant problem; there are more and more kids who enter their teenage years each year. Teenage pregnancy programs are important; the above statistics are showing that these programs yield good results. These programs should be continually studied to make sure they are up-to-date and working in the education of teenagers on the problems of teenage pregnancy.
One way of making sure to keep the programs fresh is to talk with the teenagers themselves. Open discussions focused on the impact of school, family, friends and the media are vital. How much do these impact how a teenager views sex? Parents and educators are in a position to somewhat monitor how sex, especially unsafe sex, is being digested by the teenagers today. As more questions are answered and prevention programs are initiated and updated, hopefully these statistics can continue to fall. As stated before, billions of dollars are spent taking care of teenage mothers and their children; however, only millions are needed to provide good prevention programs.
Teen Pregnancy Statistics Sources:
• Department of Health and Human Services: Office of Public Health and Services; Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Programs
• Guttmacher Institute, U.S. Teenage Pregnancy Statistics National and State Trends and Trends by Race and Ethnicity
• National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics Reports, Volume 55, Number 1
• TeenPregnancy.org , Preventing Teen Pregnancy: Why it Matters
Contributing Writer, B.L.O.G. Magazine
Chantelle Cotton is an advocate for teen pregnancy prevention, self-love, and positive self-esteem. She is the President and Founder of Why Do I Say Yes…When I Should be saying NO! program as well as the Author of her first handbook for teens & young adults called ”I Promise Me” and her upcoming book Why Do I say “yes” When I should be saying NO!. for woman. For more information please visit www.WhyDoISayYes.com or email at firstname.lastname@example.org