teen birth rate hits record low

wow — interesting stuff reported in this cnn.com article, summarizing findings on a new government survey of children and teenage wellness issues.

a few key findings:

Fewer high school students are having sex these days (In 2005, 47 percent of high school students reported having sexual intercourse, down from 54 percent in 1991.)

More teens are using condoms. (63 percent — about 9 million — used condoms. That’s up from 46 percent in 1991.)

The teen birth rate has hit a record low. (21 per 1,000 young women ages 15-17 in 2005 — an all-time low. It was down from 39 births per 1,000 teens in 1991.)

More young people are finishing high school

More youngsters are getting reading time. (Sixty percent of children ages 3-5 (and not in kindergarten) were read to daily by a family member in 2005, up from 53 percent in 1993.)

More young people are completing high school. (In 2005, 88 percent of young adults had finished high school — up from 84 percent in 1980.)

4 thoughts on “teen birth rate hits record low”

  1. I’d be interested to know how they defined ‘intercourse’ for the teenagers taking their surveys. Of course it should be obvious, but in my experience working with teenagers there are times when they feel that intercourse “didn’t count”. Why? Well…they have lots of reasons. 1) We didn’t love each other. 2) It only counts if both “go”. They have lots of ‘rules’ sometimes

  2. Thanks for summarizing this report. One caveat: reports like this only tell us what students are “saying” they are or are not doing. So, based on their findings, we can say students report less sexual activity. We really don’t know if it’s true or not. It just might be that it’s become less acceptable to admit it.

  3. brian — yes, you’re right, to a point. but this is true of all survey research. and, it normally doesn’t make a substantive difference. merely my opinion, but i find it difficult to believe that today’s teenagers would be less willing to admit sexual behavior in a blind survey.

  4. Will someone please tell the youth in Chicago’s Garfield Park about this stat? Here’s my “freakanomics” interpretation of the stat:If sexual encounter rates have dropped among teens, it’s because the ones who put out are putting out more, because the 60% who are overweight aren’t being chased by boys.

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