U.S. teen births: Mississippi has highest rate, New Hampshire lowest

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 | 10:26 a.m. CDT

NEW YORK — Teen births fell again in the United States in 2010 with the highest rate once more in Mississippi, according to a new government report.

Nearly every state saw a decline in teen births from 2007 to 2010, with the biggest drop in Arizona at 29 percent. Rates stayed about the same in three states: Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia.

State list with the rate per 1,000 teenage girls:

1. Mississippi 55

2. New Mexico 52.9

3. Arkansas 52.5

4. Texas 52.2

5.Oklahoma 50.4

6. Louisiana 47.7

7. Kentucky 46.2

8. West Virginia 44.8

9. Alabama 43.6

10. Tennessee 43.2

11. South Carolina 42.5

12. Arizona 42.4

13. Georgia 41.4

14. Kansas 39.2

15.Wyoming 39

16. Nevada 38.6

17. Alaska 38.3

17. North Carolina 38.3

19. Indiana 37.3

20. Missouri 37.1

21. Montana 35

22. South Dakota 34.9

23. Ohio 34.2

24. Colorado 33.4

25. Idaho 33

25 Illinois 33

27. Hawaii 32.5

28. Florida 32

29. California 31.5

30. Nebraska 31.1

31. Delaware 30.5

32. Michigan 30.1

33. North Dakota 28.8

34. Iowa 28.6

35. Oregon 28.1

36. Utah 27.9

37. Virginia 27.4

38. Maryland 27.2

39. Pennsylvania 27

40. Washington 26.7

41. Wisconsin 26.2

42. New York 22.6

43. Minnesota 22.5

44. Rhode Island 22.3

45. Maine 21.4

46. New Jersey 20.3

47. Connecticut 18.9

48. Vermont 17.9

49. Massachusetts 17.1

50. New Hampshire 15.7


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously reported that U.S. births by mothers of all ages had dropped in 2010 for the third straight year. Experts think the economy is a factor.

The rate for teenage moms reached its lowest point since record-keeping began in 1940. The rate fell 9 percent to about 34 per 1,000 girls ages 15 through 19. The decline was seen among all racial and ethnic groups.

The CDC report released Tuesday focused on state figures. The authors said the teen declines have been attributed to pregnancy prevention efforts. They note that a recent government survey showed more use of contraception by teens.

Even as it leads the nation with 55 teen births per 1,000 girls, Mississippi's rate has been falling like everywhere else. It dropped 21 percent over three years. New Hampshire has the lowest teen birth rate at just under 16.

Since 1991, the overall teen rate has dropped by 44 percent. Without that decline, the authors calculated, there would have been 3.4 million more babies born to girls by 2010.


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Ellis Smith April 10, 2012 | 12:35 p.m.

Would one be branded racist if he/she pointed out that no.s 45, 47, 48, 49 and 50 are in the same geographic area and do not contain significant numbers of non-white citizens? Vermont is a perfect example, being the most "white" state in the Union. Note the bottom 20 states. With few exceptions these are "northern" states.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams April 10, 2012 | 2:43 p.m.

The word "rate" involves a unit of some type (in this case, births) and a time scalar.

That is, births/time in this case.

This article never mentions the "time" component. What does the "55" mean? In this case it involves the number 1000, as in 55 births per 1000 teenage girls, but what about "time"?

Is this "per year". That is, out of 1000 teenage girls in a given year, do an average 55 of them give birth so that after 5 years an average 275 of that 1000 teenagers have given birth?

What's the time component?

(Report Comment)

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