US Teen Birth Rate Drops to Lowest in 20 Years, Especially among Latinas
For once, there’s good news from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The teen pregnancy rate has dropped significantly, especially for Latinas, reports NBC.
In the four short years between 2007 and 2011, the rate dropped a whopping 30 percent. Latina teenagers saw a decrease of 34 percent; birth rates for black teenagers dropped 24 percent and white teens saw a decrease of 20 percent. Breaking things down further, the CDC researchers saw the birth rate among Latina teenage girls drop more than 40 percent in 22 states and Washington, DC. The change wasn’t as drastic for other racial groups.
The change seems to come down to education. Researchers say teens are beginning to pay more attention to the kind of public service campaigns that focus on teen pregnancy. Also, more information about safe sex has become available to teens in their own languages. Education is also a factor. The high school and college graduation rates for Latinas increased drastically in the same four-year span as well. With more focus on education and career, girls are less likely to get pregnant.
A less positive explanation of the trend could also be the economy. With fewer job opportunities available to women from low-income backgrounds, childbearing becomes harder and less desirable.