Teen pregnancy rates are dropping drastically in America. While fewer teens are getting pregnant, the number of older Americans having children has increased.
The news comes from a report released by the United States National Center for Health Statistics. The report collected data on pregnancy in America from 1990 until 2008, the last year that data was available. Teen pregnancy rates are at the lowest since 1976 while pregnancy rates for women aged 30 and over have increased. The reason for these trends could be due to better contraception use as well as more women choosing to pursue careers, holding off pregnancy until later in life.
Teen pregnancy rates fell around 40 percent between 1990 and 2008 for Americans between the ages of 15 and 19. The pregnancy rate for American teens was 69.8 per 1,000 women in 2008. The decline in teen pregnancy was greater in younger teens than older teens. Younger teen, between the ages of 15 and 17, pregnancy rates declined nearly 50 percent while older teen pregnancy rates declined around 33 percent. Teen abortions also decreased during this period by 56 percent.
According to the report, there was still a significant difference between the number of white teens compared to black and Hispanic teens. Black and Hispanic teen pregnancy rates were two to three times higher than white teen pregnancy rates.
The downward trend in teen pregnancy was also seen in pregnancy rates for women in 20's. Pregnancy rates for women between the ages of 20 and 24 decreased by around 15 percent between 1990 and 2008. There were declines in pregnancy rates for women between the ages of 25 and 29 but were less significant, from 179 per 1,000 women in 1990 to 167.9 per 1,000 women in 2008.
While pregnancy rates are decreasing for younger Americans, the rates are increasing for women between the ages of 30 and 44. The pregnancy rates during 1990 and 2008 for women between the ages of 30 and 34 increased from 145.4 per 1,000 women to 149.2 per 1,000 women, ages 35 and 39 from 78.1 per 1,000 women to 87.2 per 1,000 women and for ages 40 and 44 from 21.1 per 1,000 women to 23.9 per 1,000 women. Abortion rates also decreased for women between the ages of 30 and 44.
The decrease in teen pregnancies is encouraging and the experts believe that more teens are using contraceptives as well as advancement in the number of contraceptive methods has also led to this decrease. For older women, it's becoming much easier to have a child later in life but older women are more at risk for complications and should work with their doctor to have a healthy pregnancy.
The United States National Center for Health Statistics released their report on American pregnancies between 1990 and 2008 on Wednesday.