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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 2012, the birth rate for women ages 15–17 was 14 births for every 1,000 females in that age group, 64% below the 1970 rate.
Births per 1,000 females in age group, 1970-2012

[ Text only ]  [ Excel file ]

  • 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 63%) and young adult females (45%). As a result, the birth rate in 2012 for both age groups was well below the their rates in 1970.
  • The 2012 birth rate for 15–17-year-olds was about one-third the rate for 18–19-year-olds.
  • In 2012, females ages 15–17 accounted for 28% of all births to teen mothers under the age of 20.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/population/qa01301.asp?qaDate=2012. Released on August 01, 2014.

Data Source: Martin, J.A., Hamilton, B.E., et al. Births: Final Data for 2012. National Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 62, No. 09. [PDF]. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics, 2013.


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