Health
5:09 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Decline in NC Teen Births Outpaces the Nation

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that North Carolina’s teen birth rate is declining.

Declines in teen birth rates were even more dramatic among minority teens.
Credit CDC

The report from the CDC shows North Carolina’s teen birth rate declined 27 percent between 2007 and 2011. The state outpaced the national decline in teen birth rates, which was 25% over the same period.

Both Guilford and Forsyth County saw declines in teen birth rates. So did some of the more rural counties, such as Davidson and Rockingham. In Stokes County, a slight increase in the teen birth rate was still below state and national averages.

“One thing that is really great about the Triad area is that it historically has had teen pregnancy and teen birth rates that are a little bit lower than the state and at points lower than the nation, so they didn't see the kinds that were quite as dramatic as the nation and the state saw during that five year period, but that is only because they were doing better to begin with,” says Elizabeth Finely, director of strategic communications with the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina.

Finley says the declines in teen birth rates were even more dramatic among minorities—dropping 48 percent for Hispanic and Latino teens, 27 percent for African American teens compared to 22 percent for white teens. She says the decline is a direct result of record-low teen pregnancies.

“In the last 15 years, the number of teens who are using contraceptives has increased greatly, and the number of teens who are using more fool-proof methods of contraceptives like IUD ‘s and  implants has increased,” says Finley.

She says, “In addition, teens today are actually less likely to be sexually active than their parent’s generation or even in many cases their grandparent’s generation.”

Finley says more awareness and sex education can also be attributed to the drop in teen birth rates. Also during the five year period covered by the CDC data report, the teen abortion rate dropped nearly 40 percent.