Significant drop over past 20 plus years.
(Cleveland) - The teenage birth rate in the United States has hit an historic low. According to the "Annual Summary of Vital Statistics" the number of 15-19 year old girls having babies dropped 8% between 2010 and 2011. But a closer look at the numbers shows the rate dropping 49% since 1991.
Dr. Ellen Rome did not take part in the study but is a pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital.
"We attribute most of this decline to the trend toward better contraception and family planning counseling where you say "wait until…." But then also provide them with appropriate services," she says.
The birth rate for older teens, ages 18-19, also dropped. It decreased 7% between 2010 and 2011.
Dr. Rome says the use of intrauterine devices are also contributing to the decline in teen pregnancies.
"These long-acting reversible contraceptives keep kids from getting pregnant. They’re safe in teens. That’s what’s the new news over the past few years. that’s endorsed by the cdc, the who, by the american college of OB-GYN," Dr. Rome says.
But it’s not just teenage births that are down. The general fertility rate in the U.S. declined 1% and is now the lowest ever reported. the only age groups that saw an increase in births were 35-39 and 40-44 years. and life expectancy held steady at 78.7 years.
Dr. Rome says the declining teen birth rate shows us teens are getting the message.
"Talk to your kids about sex from way before they need the talk. Clarify your values- i don’t want you to have sex until."
Complete findings for this study are in the journal "pediatrics."
Get breaking news sent to your mobile phone. Text "news" to 21095.
(Copyright 2013 Clear Channel, all rights reserved.)