CDPH States Teen Birthrate Hits New Historic Low

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced teen births have reached a new historic low in Chicago. In 2015, the most recent year for which data are available, there were 27.5 births per 1,000 females aged 15-19 years old, a more than a 67 percent drop from the 85.2 rate in 1999. “Chicago has made a concerted, collaborative effort to help young people plan for the future, make responsible choices and lead successful lives,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “A record low number of teen births means more Chicago teens can focus on their educations, work towards their goals and create better futures for themselves.”

Since 2010, Chicago has seen declines in teen births across all racial and ethnic groups. African American teens, who historically face greater disparities regarding teen births, have seen the greatest decline, from more than 72 births per 1,000 females to just 34.9, which represents a more than 51 percent drop overall. Chicago’s teen birthrate is higher than the national average but continues to aggressively close the gap, dropping 20 percent more than national rates since 2010. “This decline in teen births means an increase in opportunity and empowerment for teens,” said CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita, M.D. “This is because we know that the vast majority of teen pregnancies are unintended and adolescent parenthood is associated with serious health and educational implications for teens and their babies.” Research has consistently shown that teen birth and unintended pregnancies increase the chance of low birth weight and infant mortality. Studies also show that approximately 38 percent of teen mothers earn a high school diploma and less than 2 percent earn a college degree by the age of 30. CDPH and its partners have worked aggressively to reduce teen births and improve the reproductive health of residents. Chicago was recently recognized by the National Institute of Reproductive Health (NIRH) as a leader in reproductive freedom.

Comments are closed.