The U.S. teen birth rate in 2009 dropped to an all time low in almost 70 years, a news that came as a shock to the experts. The decline is deemed to be an effect of the recession.

This has been the lowest teen birth rate since 1940, the year health officials kept tracked of the rate. From a 6 percent decline in 2008, the rate continued to nosedive in 2009 with a drop of 39 births per 1,000 girls aged 15-19.

Sarah Brown, chief executive of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, mentioned that the decline may be related to stressful family and neighborhood condition.

On another note, Stephanie Ventura, a co-author of the report issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that compared to the year 1957, there was an average of 96 births per 1,000 teen girls. The report is backed by a review of birth certificates for 2009.

Since 2000, this has been the second consecutive plunge in births. And this trend may be still on the downward course, as was suggested by preliminary data accounted by CDC officials.

Another possible reason for the decline is the same trend in immigration to the United States, as the Hispanic ethnic group also showed a decline from the previous year.

Some keynotes in the fresh report include:

— A 33 percent increase of births delivered through cesarean section. The trend has been on the rise every year.

— A 12 percent drop in pre-term birth rate, for infants delivered at less than 37 weeks of pregnancy, a decline for three consecutive years.

—The 7 percent dive of birth rates in the early 20s age group of women of childbearing, the most significant since 1973.

— A 10 percent soar of the birth rate for women ages 40-44, the highest since 1967.

Of the findings collected, the one that struck most was really the decline on the teens’ age group, of which popular culture may have played a role – that of Bristol Palin and MTV. Students also credit the importance of sex education.

There has been speculations by officials though that the numbers may also be due to other factors such as the lack of data for 2009 and possibly abortion. Abortion has been seen by some teens to be the answer for their ordeal mostly since their ability to child rear may be bleak.

As for the data of 2006 and 2007, there hasn’t been any explanation offered by the experts.

Nevertheless, this report is being treated as an early holiday treat. This is true even if the U.S. teen birth rate continues to be far higher than that of 16 other developed countries, according to a 2007 United Nations comparison.