Washington, DC — The 2008 edition of Child Trends’ annual Facts at a Glance contains a state-by-state list of teen birth rates as well as data on the percentage of teens in grades 9-12 who abstain from sex or use contraception. Among the findings:
- Texas and New Mexico have the highest teen birth rate (62 births for every 1,000 female teens ages 15-19), followed closely by Mississippi.
- New Hampshire has the lowest teen birth rate (18 births for every 1,000 female teens), followed closely by Vermont and Massachusetts.
- 23% of teen births in Texas, 21% in New Mexico, and 21% in Mississippi are repeat births, compared with 11% of teen births in New Hampshire, 15% in Vermont, and 15% inMassachusetts.
Teens in the states with the lowest teen birth rates were more likely to either abstain from sex or to use contraception than were teens in the states with the highest teen birth rates:
- 47% of high school students in Texas and 41% in Mississippi abstain from sex, while the rate is 55% of high school students in New Hampshire and 56% in Massachusetts (figures are not available for New Mexico and Vermont).
- 56% of sexually active high school students in Texas and 55% in New Mexico used a condom when they last had sex, compared with 64% of high school students in New Hampshire and 63% in Vermont.
- 13% of sexually active high school students in Texas and 19% in New Mexico used birth control pills before they last had sex, compared with 28% of sexually active students in New Hampshire and 34% in Vermont.
The report, which is based primarily on Child Trends’ analyses of data from the National Center for Health Statistics, also includes national and city-level trends in teen childbearing.
Child Trends is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center that studies children at all stages of development. Its mission is to improve outcomes for children by providing research, data, and analysis to the people and institutions whose decisions and actions affect children.