Good News: Teen Pregnancy Is On the Decline!
Birth rates among teenagers have declined dramatically, according to new research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Since reaching a peak height in 1957, birth rates have generally fallen in the U.S. since then, including a whopping 57 percent drop from 1991 to 2013. This decrease translates to an estimated 4 million fewer births to teens over the course of those years.
The CDC attributes this decline to a number of factors including a higher likelihood and more frequent use of contraception as well as decreased sexual activity overall among teens.
Bill Albert, chief program officer of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, told CBS News that he believes popular MTV reality shows like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant have actually encouraged teens to avoid pregnancy, rather than glamourizing it.
"Many teens have described these shows as far more sobering than salacious, and they are watched by millions," he said.
USA Today reports that while the national average for teen birth rates is 29.4 births per every 1,000 girls ages 15-19, birth rates remain well over that average in states in the South and Southwest. New Mexico has the highest teen birth rate with 47.5 births per every 1,000 teen girls.
Think you might be pregnant? Consider one of these 10 at-home pregnancy tests.
Photo of teenage girls courtesy of Shutterstock