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U.S. teen births drop to record low

HYATTSVILLE, Md., May 26 (UPI) — The U.S. teen birth rate dropped by half since the 1991 high of 62 per 1,000 teens ages 15-19 to a record low of 31 per 1,000 teens in 2011, officials say.

Brady E. Hamilton, T.J. Mathews and Stephanie J. Ventura of the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said their report showed the most recent decline in U.S. teen childbearing of 25 percent from 2007-11 were sustained, widespread and broad-based, but followed a long-term trend. However, the overall decline from 1991 was briefly interrupted in 2006 and 2007.

Historically, U.S. birth rates were higher for Hispanic and non-Hispanic black teenagers than for non-Hispanic white teens, but this has essentially disappeared, and by 2011 their rates were similar to that of whites, the report said.

During 2007-11, the teen birth rate declined most for Hispanic teenagers at 34 percent, followed by 24 percent for non-Hispanic black teenagers and 20 percent for white teenagers.

The largest declines, from 41 percent to 50 percent, occurred in Minnesota, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Utah, New Mexico and Alaska.

Despite the decline, the U.S. teen birth rate remains one of the highest among Western countries.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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