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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 2019, the birth rate for teens ages 15 to 17 was 6.7 births for every 1,000 females in that age group, 83% below the 1970 rate.

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  • The birth rate for teens ages 15 to 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 to 19 dropped even more than the rate for teens ages 15 to 17 between 1970 and 1986, falling 31%. Although the rate for young adults also increased through 1991, the rate did not return to its 1970 level.
  • Since 1991, rates declined for teens ages 15 to 17 (down 83%) and young adult females (67%). By 2019, the rates for both age groups were at their lowest level since at least 1970.
  • The birth rate for 15 to 17 year-olds was about one-fifth the rate for 18 to 19 year-olds in 2019.
  • In 2019, females ages 15 to 17 accounted for 24% 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=2019. Released on April 16, 2021.

Data Source: Births: Final Data for 2019. National Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 70, No. 2. [PDF]. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics, 2021.


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