North Carolina Teen Birth Rate Increases
Special Report - August 7, 2008
North Carolina’s teen pregnancy rate for females ages 15-19 increased to 63.1 pregnancies per 1,000 women in 2006, up from 61.7 in 2005, according to data released by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. These pregnancies account for 12.2 percent of all pregnancies in North Carolina in 2006. 22.9 percent of these teenage pregnancies end in abortion. These abortions, 4,395 in total, constitute 14.9 percent of all abortions in the state. That figure is down from 15.3 percent in 2005. In North Carolina, 18.6 percent of the state’s total 157,944 pregnancies end in abortion, making the teen rate of abortion higher than the statewide rate. While the percentage of North Carolina abortions that are performed on teenage girls has decreased, the abortion rate (per 1,000 females ages 15-19) increased from 14.3 in 2005 to 14.5 in 2006 due to the increased number of pregnancies among teens.
Nationwide, the teen birth rate, defined as births per 1,000 females ages 15-19, rose 3 percent from 40.5 in 2005 to 41.9 in 2006, according to July 2008 Child Trends data from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Still, the nationwide teen birth rate has decreased 32 percent from its peak of 61.8 in 1991 and is down 12 percent since 2000.
According to the July 2008 Child Trends, North Carolina’s teen birth rate has held steady at 49 births per 1,000 females since 2003. In 2006, the 14,677 births to teen mothers accounted for 11.5 percent of the total births in North Carolinaup from 11.3 percent of all births in 2005. Matt Lytle, Research Director for the North Carolina Family Policy Council, commented, “North Carolina’s higher-than-average teen birth rate and increased teen pregnancy rate underscore the importance of solid and consistent abstinence programs, which have been a vital part of the significant overall reduction in teen sexual activity since the 1990s.The good news is that the decreased abortion rate in the state shows that more young mothers are choosing to respect the life of their unborn child by carrying their child to full term.”
Copyright © 2008. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.