Entries in Young Mothers (1)


US Teen Birth Rate Fell to Record Low in 2009

E. Dygas/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Fewer teens are having babies in the United States -- but not few enough, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although teen births dropped 37 percent nationwide over the last two decades to an all-time low in 2009, the rate is still nine times higher than in other developed countries.

Despite the plunge, roughly 410,000 teen girls gave birth in 2009 at an estimated cost of $9 billion to U.S. taxpayers, according to the report.

"Many are enrolled in the Medicaid and WIC [Women, Infants and Children] programs to help them during pregnancy,” said Dr. Amy Thompson, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology specializing in teen pregnancy at the University of Cincinnati.

Only half of teen moms earn a high school diploma by age 22 compared with 90 percent of teens who don't have children, according to the report.

Black and Hispanic teens are two-to-three times more likely to give birth than white teens, according to the report. And girls born to teen parents are nearly 33 percent more likely to become teen moms themselves.

The report suggests fewer high school students are having sex, and more of them are using at least one method of birth control. The proportion of students who reported using two methods of contraception, such as condoms and the birth control pill, almost doubled from five percent in 1991 to nine percent in 2009.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio