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The nation's record-low teen birth rate stems from robust declines in nearly every state, but most dramatically in several Mountain States and among Hispanics, according to a new government report.

All states but West Virginia and North Dakota showed drops of at least 15 percent over the five years from 2007 through 2011. But the Mountain States of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada and Utah saw rates fall by 30 percent or more.

Arkansas, which had the highest teen birth rate at the country with 51 out of 1,000 teens giving birth, saw a 16 percent drop in births to teens ages 15 to 19.

In 22 states, teen Hispanic birth rates plunged at least 40 percent, which was described as "just amazing," by the report's lead author, Brady Hamilton of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Experts believe the explanation behind the declining rates is complicated and probably varies a bit from state to state. The national figure has been falling since 1991, aside from a brief interruption in 2006 and 2007.

The CDC report released Thursday is based on birth certificates for 2007 through 2011. Last year, the CDC announced the overall improvement in teen births: a record low of 31 births per 1,000 teens ages 15 to 19. That compares with 42 births per 1,000 five years earlier.

The new report focuses on state figures in 2011:

• Lowest rates are in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont, each with rates under 17 per 1,000.

• Highest rates overall continue to be in the South, led by Arkansas and Mississippi, each with rates of about 50 per 1,000. In Arkansas, the majority of teen births are to white moms. In Mississippi, the majority are black.

• White teens continue to have the lowest birth rate nationally — about 22 births per 1,000. Black teens saw a larger improvement, but their rate was still more than twice the white rate, at 47 per 1,000.

• Overall, the Hispanic rate plummeted from 75 to 49 per 1,000, now virtually a tie with the black rate.


Declines in State Teen Birth Rates by Race and Hispanic Origin


Print Headline: Rate pared 16% over 5 years

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  • katielloyd02150941
    May 23, 2013 at 12:01 p.m.

    Awesome! Looks like our school/state Sex Ed programs are doing a great job!

  • arkyparky
    May 23, 2013 at 12:20 p.m.

    We're number one! We're number one!

  • Populist
    May 23, 2013 at 12:25 p.m.

    Poverty rates go hand in hand with the teen pregnancy rates and low levels of education. The Arkansas politicians should hang their heads in shame at the high levels of teenage pregnancy, ignorance, and poverty in the state. I guess the politicians are too worried about what kinds of regulations are effecting their rich donors or whether they can get kickbacks for deals. They don't seem to give a dang, about education, sex education in particular, or poverty levels. They all just want to get reelected and stay in power.

  • lewis1
    May 23, 2013 at 12:29 p.m.

    Goes to show you how well "Just say no" works!!!!

  • TheBatt
    May 23, 2013 at 12:33 p.m.

    I find it interesting that the author of this article (simply given as "AP") decided that the "big news" was that Arkansas's teen birth rate is "highest" in nation... yet spent the article primarily discussing the IMPROVEMENTS nationwide (including Arkansas) in the teen birth rate. 16% is a respectable decline and is good news. So why the headline? I read the article fully expecting to see that Arkansas had risen in teen births.

  • MenLR2
    May 23, 2013 at 12:57 p.m.

    The story was written by the "AP"... The headline was produced locally by someone at the DemGaz. The headline was stated as such to have the WOW AFFECT.

  • Vickie55
    May 23, 2013 at 1:57 p.m.

    Amen to that, Inquire. I always said that a person who states that "my child will not do that" will soon be called Grandma.

  • 000
    May 23, 2013 at 2:14 p.m.

    lol, vickie.

  • UncleRemus
    May 23, 2013 at 2:53 p.m.

    And just think, 80% of all kids born to teen mothers spend time in prison - FACT. If Osama would cut off the welfare and quit rewarding these unfit kids for hatching out kids to be raised by the streets, this might go down.

  • Packman
    May 23, 2013 at 3:08 p.m.

    Declining teen birth rates is good news for society, although it would be interesting to see if there is any correlation between the decrease in teen birth rates and increase in abortion.

    Hey Populist - In your eagerness to trash all things Arkansas, you failed to note the teen birth rate has DECREASED 16%. Do you really, seriously want to disparage this good news just to make you feel better about yourself? With a 16% decrease, it would seem that whatever the politicians, churches, parents, and perhaps abortion clinics are doing is working. Your criticism is ill-founded, Populist, and just makes you look like an angry liberal who was always the last one picked in a game of dodgeball.

    Hey Vickie - Excellent point!