That ranks it seventh highest in the nation, but the figure is down from 53.1 per 1,000 in 2007. Nationwide, the number is down from 61.8 per 1,000 in 1991. “Young people are being more careful,” Sarah Brown, CEO of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, told Sharon Jayson of USA Today.
The teenage birth rate nationwide is the lowest in nearly 70 years, but Kentucky’s rate is much higher than the national average — 46.2 births per 1,000 compared to 34.3 across the U.S.
In 2010, a total of 367,752 infants were born to mothers ages 15 to 19. Mississippi had the highest rate, with 55 teen births per 1,000 and New Hampshire had the lowest with 15.7, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
Girls who are having sex for the first time are much more likely to use contraception than their predecessors, notes Laura Lindberg, a senior research associate with the non-profit Guttmacher Institute in New York. She credited the lower teen-birth rate to “the elimination of pelvic exams before receiving prescriptions for hormonal methods, as well as use of long-acting methods such as IUDs.” (Read more)