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U.S. Pregnancy Rates Slide to 12 Years Low

Update Date: Dec 06, 2013 09:06 AM EST

Pregnancy rates in U.S. is declining 10 per cent each for married and unmarried women for the past 23 years, a new report shows.

A new government report released by National Center for Health Statistics said that the pregnancy rate of 102 pregnancies out of every 1,000 women is 12 percent below the 1990 peak of about 116 per thousand.

Since 1990, pregnancy rates are down in every age group but with an exception. Pregnancy rates in women over 30 has managed to increase steadily with every passing year.

Women who are in their 20s the pregnancy rate is declining alarmingly. The abortion rate has also dropped gradually after peaking up in 1990. Since the most recent data on abortions were not available, the report considered only pregnancy rates through 2009.

From 1990–2009, birth rates have fallen up to 51 percent for non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black teenagers.

The report also said that the birth rate for married women was 72 percent higher than the rate for unmarried women. The abortion rate for unmarried women was also recorded almost five times higher than the rate for married women.

“What happened was a postponement of births among younger women with a longer time horizon,” said Andrew Cherlin, a Johns Hopkins University sociologist specializing in family issues, according to Washington Post. “Women over 30 couldn’t wait that much longer.”

One of the report’s author Sally Curtin said the historic drop is because of a long downward trend of fewer teenagers having sex. And those who do, there is a sharp increase in their use of contraceptives.

“It’s as if both sides in the debate over teen pregnancy were right,” said Cherlin. “AIDS has forced many school districts to talk about contraception, even if they didn’t want to,” he added according to Washington Post.

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