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Juvenile Population Characteristics
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Juvenile Population Characteristics
Teen Mothers
Q: What is the teen birth rate and how has it changed in recent years?
A: In 2017, the birth rate for women ages 15-17 was 8 births for everyone 1,000 females in that age group, 80% below the 1970 rate.

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  • The birth rate for older juvenile females (ages 15-17) fell 21% between 1970 and 1986 and then increased over the next 5 years back to its 1970 level.
  • The birth rate for young adult females (ages 18 and 19) dropped even more than the rate for older juveniles between 1970 and 1986, falling 31%. Although the rate for young adults also increased through 1991, this increase was well below the 1970 level.
  • Since 1991, rates declined for older juvenile females (down 80%) and young adult females (63%). As a result, the birth rate in 2017 for both age groups was well below their rates in 1970.
  • The 2017 birth rate for 15-17-year-olds was about one-fourth the rate for 18-19-year-olds.
  • In 2017, females ages 15-17 accounted for 25% of all births to mothers under the age of 20.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/population/qa01301.asp?qaDate=2017. Released on June 24, 2019.

Data Source: Births: Final Data for 2017. National Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 67, No. 8. [PDF]. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics, 2018.


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