Teenage pregnancy rates have dropped over the last 20 years according to recent reports. This has helped to save the U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars as fewer teens seek help with living costs. The research showed that teen moms are more likely to receive food stamps and other benefits as they provide for their babies.
The government reports shows that the rates of teen births have decreased by 57 percent over the last two decades. That is around four million births no longer occurring, and is excellent news for the country.
According to The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy chief program officer Bill Albert, only 40 percent of women who go through teenage pregnancy will go through high school graduation. Considering the currently education expectations, that led to many young mothers losing their chances of good employment; if any employment in some cases.
For taxpayers, it means that $12 billion was saved just in 2010 thanks to the decline from nine years prior. The money is not just spent on the teen mothers but also on the babies. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it costs around $1,700 per year for children of teen mothers and that is usually paid out until they are 15 years old.
The teenage pregnancy rates have dropped over the last 20 years across all states. However, other research shows that more births are occurring in the Southwest and South when looking at breakdowns by state. For example, in New Mexico, 47.5 out of 1,000 teenagers will have babies. This is high compared to the New Hampshire rate of 13.8 out of 1,000 teens. The data was taken to include women between the ages of 15 and 19 and was based on information in 2012.
This information was also broken down by ethnicity. Hispanic teens showed to have the highest rates of teenage pregnancy, followed by black teenagers. Alaska Native and American Indian teens followed next, and then white teenagers. Pacific Islanders and Asians showed to have the lowest rates of teen births.
In 1957, the highest rate of teen pregnancy occurred. It is important to consider the change in society’s view and need between then and now. During the 1940s and 1960s, birth rates were higher due to the population drop after the Second World War. Women also married younger, while many now are encouraged to focus on careers and education first.
The rate of pregnancy among teenagers has dropped by a third compared to those 1957 statistics. In figures just 26.6 out of 1,000 teens had babies in 2013 compared to the 96.3 out of 1,000 rate in 1957.
Now questions have arisen over the reason for the reduction in birth rate. Albert believes that it is due to a reduction in teenagers have sexual intercourse, as well as better contraception. Teenagers understand more about babies and sex, and are more likely to use protection every time.
It is certainly good news for the United States, and there is hope that this reduction occurs around the world. Teenage pregnancy rates have dropped over the last 20 years and it means more savings for the taxpayers.
By Alexandria Ingham