Black Teen Birth Rate Plummets to Historic Low

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dismantles some long held myths about teen sexuality. The birthrate for teens in the United States hit an all-time low in 2013.

The government agency reports 277,749 babies were born in 2013 to mothers who were under the age of 20. That is the lowest number recorded since the CDC began collecting birthrate data in 1940.

Between 1991 and 2012, the rate for Non-hispanic Black teens saw the largest decline of 63%, and birthrates were down in all 50 states.

According to the CDC, this is the result of "a number of behavioral changes, including decreased sexual activity, increases in the use of contraception at first sex and at most recent sex, and the adoption and increased use of hormonal contraception, injectables, and intrauterine devices."

Among Black teenagers, birth rates fell less than 20% from 2007 to 2012 in the District of Columbia and Michigan, while rates in 13 states fell at least 35%. 

In 2012, non-Hispanic black and Hispanic teen birth rates were still more than two times higher than the rate for non-Hispanic white teens, but despite widely held beliefs about black women's reproduction, Black teens do not, in fact, have the highest birth rate in the country. So the next time anyone tries to point the finger at Black women celebrities for encouraging teen sex, like Bill O'Reilly did in April, their handwringing can be easily refuted with CDC data.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock, CDC

Source: CDC

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