More teens having babies, report shows

December 09, 2007|By Jia-Rui Chong | Jia-Rui Chong,Los Angeles Times

After 14 years of steady decline, the rate of teen births rose 3 percent last year, according to a federal study released last week.

Bill Albert, deputy director of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, a nonprofit and nonpartisan research group, said that after years of declining teen birthrates, "perhaps complacency has become the enemy of progress here."

The new numbers were compiled by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention using 2006 birth records covering 99.9 percent of the United States. They calculated about 435,000 births to girls between 15 and 19, or 41.9 births per 1,000 teenage girls.

The teen birthrate in Maryland was below the national average at 31.8 births per 1,000.

The last national increase in teen birthrates started in the late 1980s and peaked in 1991, at 61.8 births per 1,000 teenage girls, the CDC data showed.

Jia-Rui Chong writes for the Los Angeles Times.

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