From the FDOE/Orange County and the National Conference of State Legislatures
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the teenage birth rate in the United States is at an all-time low. Since 2016, the teenage birth rate (20.3 births per 1,000 girls aged 15-19) has fallen by 67% since its peak in 1991. This represents a 9% decrease as of 2015. Declining trends cover all 50 states and all racial and ethnic groups.
Yet despite falling rates, pregnancy and birth rates among teenage girls ages 15 to 19 in the United States remain among the highest in industrialized countries. Roughly 1 of 4 girls will be pregnant at least once before the age of 20. And about 1 of 6 teenage births are repeat births. Moreover, important disparities adolescent birth rates persist across racial and ethnic groups, geographic regions, rural and urban areas, and age groups.
Teenage pregnancy and parenthood are associated with social, health, and financial costs to teenage parents, families, and states. A teenage birth can disrupt young people’s educational and career goals, affecting earning potential and future family finances. Alone about half of teenage mothers graduate from high school by age 22, compared to 90% of women without teenage births. Teenage mothers are also more likely live in poverty and depend on public assistance. Children born to teenage parents are more likely perform lower in school, enter the child welfare and correctional systems, drop out of high school, and become teenage parents themselves, compared to children born to older parents.
Teenage births also create significant costs for taxpayers and states. The nationwide average cost of providing medical and economic support during pregnancy and the first year of infancy is $16,000 per teenage birth, according to an analysis conducted by Power to Decide (a nonpartisan organization formerly called National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy). Decline in teenage births saves $4.4 billion in government spending every year.
May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month and the Florida Department of Health in Orange County is focusing on teen pregnancy prevention.
This annual outreach is an opportunity to encourage parents to start conversations with their teenagers to make informed decisions and connect young people with services that can help them.
Here in Orange County, there has been an improvement in the reduction of teen pregnancies over the past five years. In 2020, births to adolescent girls aged 15-19 totaled 599 births, a rate of 12.9 per 1,000 population.1. The previous year, there were 602 births in Orange County to teens ages 15 to 19, with a rate of 13.2 per 1,000 population.1
To highlight local improvement in teen pregnancy prevention, we can look back ten years to 2010. In that year, the birth rate for teenage girls ages 15 to 19 in Orange County was 28.7 per 1,000 inhabitants.1
For more information on ways to encourage their teens to make wise decisions to prevent teen pregnancy, parents can contact the Florida Department of Health Orange County’s Family Planning and Prenatal Program at 407- 858-1487. The program provides services to low-income customers throughout Orange County.
Wednesday office hours Now until 6 p.m. at Lila Mitchell
To expand pregnancy prevention awareness efforts with local teen girls, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County is providing easier access to family planning services through longer appointment times. late Wednesdays at their Lila Mitchell location, 5151 Raleigh Street, Orlando 32811.
Starting May 18, Lila Mitchell’s office will remain open until 6:00 p.m. Wednesdays only until further notice.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Council, strives to protect, promote and improve the health of all Florida residents through integrated state, county and community efforts. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.