Ready for some good news for a change? Government researchers announced yesterday that the U.S. teen birthrate has dropped to its lowest level in the seven decades that they have been tracking data on it.
According to data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 had 39.1 births per 1,000 kids last year. This is a six percent drop from last year and a record low statistic for this age group.
The decline in teen births cut across racial and ethnic lines, as birth rates for younger and older teens and for Hispanic, white, black, American Indian or Alaska Native and Asian or Pacific Islander teenagers all hit historic lows in 2009.
Babies born to women in their 20s also dropped last year (by seven percent - the largest decline for this age group since 1973) as did pre-term births.
Was it the economy? Teen pregnancy prevention programs? Has sexting taken the place of the real thing? Researchers aren't speculating yet on why the drop occurred. But what do you think?
The full report is available at www.cdc.gov/nchs