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Teen Birth Rate Dropped Significantly In Last Two Decades

Update Date: Aug 20, 2014 05:43 PM EDT
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U.S. teen birth rate has fallen dramatically during the past twenty years, dropping straight as much as by 57 percent, according to a new government report. 

The report estimated around 4 million fewer births occurred among teenagers as a result of the decline. 

That "eye-opening" reduction in births "leapt out at me from the report," said Bill Albert, chief program officer of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, in the press release.

"We know, for instance, that only about 40 percent of teen mothers ever graduate from high school," Albert continued. "Translate that number-4 million fewer births-into a much, much lower high school graduation rate, and think about the prospects for those young women in this day and age and in this economy. It's pretty sobering."

According to researchers, taxpayers saved $12 billion in 2010 alone as a result of decline in teen births since 1991, since teen mothers are more likely to need food stamps, Medicaid and other government assistance. 

According to the published report, a child born to a teen mother costs taxpayers $1,700 a year from birth up to age 15. 

In 1957, 96.3 out of every 1,000 teenage girls had a baby, compared with 26.6 of every 1,000 teen girls in 2013, the press release added. 

"In the old era, most teens who had a baby were married and you could support a family on the education you had from high school, so it was not as much of a concern," said report author Stephanie Ventura, a senior demographer for the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

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