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African American Teen Births Drop 24%, Hispanics 34%, Says New CDC Report

According to a new CDC report released this week, the rates of teen births fell 24% among non-Hispanic black teenagers, 34% for Hispanics and 20% for non-Hispanic white teenagers. The decline among Hispanic teen births is most noteworthy since they previously had the highest teen birth rates. Eight states had declines of 30% or more for African American teenagers.  However, Washington, DC had no significant change.

This is welcoming news as we better educate our youth and prepare them for the best future possible. We know that when compared with teens who delay childbearing, teen girls who have babies are less likely to finish high school or attend college; more likely to rely on public assistance; and more likely to live in poverty as adults. Furthermore, children born to teen mothers are more likely to have poorer educational, behavioral, and health outcomes over the course of their lives than children born to older parents. Schools play a critical role in these efforts. Research tells us that the longer children remain in school and engaged in learning, the better their life-long health. Parents can do much to support that engagement.

The largest declines in birth rates for non-Hispanic black teenagers—30% or more—occurred in eight states from 2007 through 2011.

  • Declines of 20% or more were reported for non-Hispanic black teenagers during 2007–2011 in 34 states located in the Southwest, upper Midwest, and Southeast (Figure 4).
  • In states with at least 100 births to non-Hispanic black teenagers, the largest declines, between 41% and 50%, were observed for Minnesota, Nebraska, and Rhode Island.
  • The 21 states with the largest rate declines included only 6 states with rates above the U.S. average—47.4 per 1,000 for this group.
  • Changes were not significant in DC, Hawaii, Maine, and West Virginia.

Figure 4. Percent change in birth rates for non-Hispanic black teenagers aged 15–19, by state: United States, 2007 and 2011

Figure 4 is a map showing the percent change in birth rates for non-Hispanic black teenagers aged 15-19 by state from 2007 through 2011


Read the CDC report on the decline in teen births, Declines in State Teen Birth Rates by Race and Hispanic Origin.

Key findings

  • Teen birth rates fell at least 15% for all but two states during 2007–2011—the most recent period of sustained decline; rates fell 30% or more in seven states.
  • Declines in rates were steepest for Hispanic teenagers, averaging 34% for the United States, followed by declines of 24% for non-Hispanic black teenagers and 20% for non-Hispanic white teenagers.
  • The long-term difference between birth rates for non-Hispanic black and Hispanic teenagers has essentially disappeared, and by 2011 their rates were similar.
  • Rates for Hispanic teenagers fell 40% or more in 22 states and the District of Columbia (DC); rates dropped at least 30% in 37 states and DC.


Learn more about  The Office of Adolescent Health (@TeenHealthGov) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which is charged with taking the best thinking and evidence about teen pregnancy prevention strategies and disseminating it, and continuing to build evidence of the strategies that are most effective. For resources and information on teen pregnancy prevention programs, visit the online Teen Pregnancy Prevention Resource Center at http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/ . Follow the Office of Adolescent Health @TeenHealthGov

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