In spite of a decline in statistical data, teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. are considered higher than any other developed country, including Canada and the UK. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics found that pregnancy rates in 2009, the last available year of data, were the lowest they have been in a 12-year span.
“The drop in birth rates since 2007 has been well-documented. However, it is important to examine the other outcomes of pregnancy to understand the full scope of current reproductive trends,” read the report released this past Thursday. “The data in this report provide a comprehensive picture of pregnancies and pregnancy outcomes.”
A research team from the CDC tracked data surrounding U.S. pregnancy rates among women between the ages of 15 and 44 from 1990 to 2009. Back in 2009, the pregnancy rate for women in the U.S. was marked at 102.1 per 1,000 women similar to 1997 when the pregnancy rate was observed at its lowest point in a 30-year period.
Although pregnancy rates among women over the age of 30 saw a slight increase, the rate for women under the age of 30 saw a dramatic decrease. Teenage pregnancy rates, which included minority groups, reached an all-time low in 2009, Reuters reported. Teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 marked the greatest decline in pregnancy rates, plummeting 53 percent over the span of two decades.
According to researchers from the CDC, a decline in America’s economy starting in 2007 may have forced a decline in the number of women under the age of 40 who become pregnant. Another theory focuses on the initial AIDS scare of the 1980s and teenagers' likelihood to wear condoms as a form of protection.
"After a brief increase in 2006 and 2007, the ongoing declines in the number and rate of pregnancies continued," the report states. "It has been suggested that the declining economy, beginning in 2007, has likely played a role in the decreased rates for women under age 40."