American teens come of age, birth rates drop

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New Delhi, May 25: The American teenage girl seems to have come of age. In the nation of liberal values of sex, live ins, and unwed mothers, the birth rate among American teenage girls has dropped considerably.

A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the birth rate fell 25 percent in the 2007 to 2011 period.

If one takes a decade of figures, from 1991 to 2001, the birth rate among women ages 15-19 decreased by almost half. It decreased to 31 births per 1,000 from 62 births.

This decline has been in almost all groups. In the most recent period of the study, birth rates of black adolescents declined by 24 percent, while white teens dropped 20 percent.

The remarkable decrease is attributed to increasing use of contraceptive by the teenagers. The US has seen sustained campaign on preventing unwanted pregnancies, a growing use of contraceptives in the first sexual relationship, and the use of dual methods of contraception, such as condoms plus the pill.

The drop in births in the last five years can also be attribute to a weak economy that dampened the rush for having children.

The CDC report is based on birth certificates for 2007 through 2011. Last year, the CDC announced the overall improvement in teen births: a record low of 31 births per 1,000 teens ages 15 to 19. That compares to 42 births per 1,000 five years earlier.

Lowest rates are in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont, each with rates under 17 per 1,000.

Highest rates continue to be in the South, led by Arkansas (white mothers) and Mississippi (black mother), each with rates of about 50 per 1,000.

OneIndia News

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