KNAU and Arizona News
4:30 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

Researcher Says Drop in Teen Births Due to Increased Use of Contraception

Arizona has led the nation in the decline in the teen birth rate from 2007 to 2010.

That's according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Nationally, the rate of teenaged girls having babies dropped 9 percent to 34 girls per thousand.

But in Arizona the rate has dropped 29 percent.

At 42 teenage births per thousand, Arizona still has one of the highest teen birthrates in the country.

But Laura Lindberg, with the non-profit Guttmacher Institute, says the drop is significant because of the state's large Hispanic population.

"The state variations in teen birth rates are  driven to a great extent by variations in race/ethnicity and income, so the large Hispanic population in Arizona is related to the high teen birth rates there," she said.

Lindberg says the data show sexual activity among teenagers has not decreased......especially among 17 to 19 year olds.

She attributes the decrease in the rate of teenaged moms to the increased used of contraceptives among girls.....and boys.

Researchers say the national rate of new teenaged mothers is the lowest in the country's history.