USA Today reported on teen births this week, noting the 2012 US average at 29.4 births per 1000 women aged 15-19. The lowest rates fell in the Northeast with New Hampshire leading at 13.8. The highest rates fell in the South and Southwest, with New Mexico and Oklahoma sharing the honors at 47.5 and 47.3 respectively. The ethnic tallies showed Asians lowest at 9.7 and Hispanics highest at 46.3.
Overall, the average age of new mothers has risen while the incidence of teen pregnancy, though still troublesome, has dropped, and the state variances prove striking differences among youth behavior across the country.
While on the topic, we had a look at the US teen numbers in an international comparison from last year of 16 countries.
Despite improvements overall to the US data, in this group of western nations, only Romania comes in with higher teenage pregnancy rates than the US. It is also interesting to note the similarity in the birth/abortion option quotas between the two nations and how dramatically opposite these run from countries such as Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.
Switzerland posts an astounding low rate of only 7 pregnancies per 1000 teens, only 15% of the US rate, while the Netherlands, Germany and Italy run second lowest with 12 and 13 pregnancies per 1000.
Why is it these countries have relatively rare incidence of teenage pregnancy? What can we do to markedly change that?