U.S. Teen Birth Rate Increases by 3% in 2006; First Increase Since 1991, According to CDC
The birth rate among U.S. teenagers ages 15 to 19 increased by 3% in 2006 after a 14-year decline, according to a report issued Wednesday by CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, the New York Times reports (Harris, New York Times, 12/6). The greatest increases in the teen birth rate were seen among black teenagers. There were 63.7 births per 1,000 black teens in 2006, a 5% increase from 2005. There was a 2% increase to 83 births per 1,000 teens among Hispanics. The report found an increase among white and American Indian teens, but the rate continued to drop for Asian teens (Stein, Washington Post, 12/6).
The report is based on preliminary data from more than 99% of all births in the U.S. in 2006 and reflects changes for all women, USA Today reports (Jayson, USA Today, 12/6).
The report found that birth rates among teens ages 15 to 19 increased from 40.5 births per 1,000 girls and women to 41.9 per 1,000 in 2006 (Washington Post, 12/6). The birth rate among teens in that age group had declined by 34% between 1991 and 2005, according to CDC (USA Today, 12/6). The birth rate increased by 4% among teens ages 18 and 19 and by 3% among teens ages 15 to 17. Birth rates among girls younger than age 14 continued to decline from 0.7 per 1,000 teens in 2005 to 0.6 in 2006 (New York Times, 12/6).
Stephanie Ventura, head of the Reproductive Statistics Branch at CDC said it is too early to know if the increase in the teen birth rate is the start of a new trend. "This early warning should put people on alert to look at the programs that are being used to see what works" Ventura said (Washington Post, 12/6).
The report is available online.