Teen Birth Rate by Race/Ethnicity Comparison

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As per the studies there has been a substantial decline in the teen pregnancy rate from 1991 to 2017. Every year it is declining, from 2016 to 2017 it declined by 7%. However, disparities still exist in this population. The birth rate of Hispanic teens (28.9) and non-Hispanic black teens (27.5) are twice higher than non-Hispanic white. The highest being for American Indian/ Alaska Native teens (32.9). Pregnancy is the 1st reason the girls dropout of their school. This throws light upon the co-existing needs of the adolescent parents and children. They are under risk for negative health outcomes due to poverty and social determinants. They need to be seen by a non-judgmental approach and want to address their health issues with positive support. There is a need for specialized business models that focuses on providing tailored services and addressing the needs of the adolescent parents and their child. The advantage of offering tailored services will help lead to more employment rate and developing the income level of the families, stronger school engagement and fewer repeat pregnancies.

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Teen pregnancy refers to the pregnancy of adolescent females under the age of 20 years of age. As per the records of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as of 2017, 194,377 babies were born to the women of age group between 15-19 years old. This accounts for a birth rate of 18.8 babies born per 1000 women in this age range. However, this number has dropped from 2016 to 2017 by 7%. To be precise, women aged 15-17 years and 18-19 years had a drop of 10 % and 6 % respectively in 20171. It seems we are progressively working towards teen pregnancy in the United States, however, these numbers are still higher than other developed countries like Canada and United Kingdom 2. The Office of Adolescent Health, which is part of the U.S Department of Health and Human Service, an authority with the mission “to enhance and protect the well-being of all Americans” 3. As per the records of the Office of Adolescent Health as of 2017, out of 50 states including the District of Columbia, Arkansas is ranked 1st and Mississippi is ranked 2nd. The figure 1 shows the heat map of the distribution of rate of births in the states of the US. These ranking are done based on the birth rates calculation. Talking about California, it is at 33rd position. In Arkansas and Mississippi, the teen birth (aged 15-19) rates as of 2017, includes 32.8 and 31 births per 1000 females respectively 4.

It is interesting to see that, there has been a tremendous decline in the teen birth rate in Arkansas from 1991 to 2015 and from 2014 to 2015 which is 52% and 3 % respectively. For Mississippi the drop has been 59% and 8% respectively. Based on these numbers, it calls for celebration. However, taking a deeper dive into the race/ ethnicities calls for some serious social action. The figure 2 below shows the mother’s race/ ethnicity in Arkansas and Mississippi, which accounts for the maximum number for Non-Hispanic white and Non-Hispanic black 4.The birth rates for teens is fluctuating state by state within the US. However, the pattern of racial and ethnic disparities is almost common. The figure 3 below shows the disparities seen in teen birth from 1990 to 2016. The maximum rate of births to females in Arkansas are from Non-Hispanic white (60 %), Non-Hispanic black (27 %) and Hispanic (11 %). This is more than 30 times the American Indian or Alaska Native (1 %) and Asian or Pacific Islander (1 %). Similar are the numbers for Mississippi and California. This highlights the fact that the women of color are not receiving adequate support even between the age group of 15-19 years old 5.

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Teen Birth Rate by Race/Ethnicity Comparison. (2020, May 13). Retrieved January 30, 2023 , from

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