Differences by race and Hispanic origin*
Birth rates among teens reflect a number of factors, including cultural background, opportunities for employment or higher education, and the collective experience of racism or other discrimination. Prior to 1995, U.S. birth rates were highest among non-Hispanic black teens. Since 1995, however, Hispanic teens have had the highest rates, and, until 2006, declines among this group were generally slower than among non-Hispanic black teens. Since 2007, however, Hispanic teen birth rates have declined substantially, by over 60 percent in the past decade; in recent years, these rates were only slightly above rates for non-Hispanic black teens.
In 2017, birth rates were highest among Hispanic teens (29 per 1,000), followed by non-Hispanic black teens (28 per 1,000), American Indian and Alaska Native teens (22 per 1,000), non-Hispanic white teens (13 per 1,000), and Asian or Pacific Islander teens (7 per 1,000). In 2015 (the latest year for which data are available), Hispanic teens of Mexican origin had birth rates similar to those for teens of Puerto Rican origin (32 and 31 per 1,000, respectively), and both were higher than the rate for Cuban teens (15 per 1,000).
Despite their decline since 2007, the continued relatively high birth rates among Hispanic and non-Hispanic black teens may be of concern. Sexually experienced Hispanic teens are less likely than other teens to talk to their partner about contraception before sex and are less likely to use contraception. Additionally, they are less likely to regard having a teen birth as a negative event.