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Teenage Birth Rates By State - What States Have Highest and Lowest Birth Rates?

Statistics on Teenage Birth Rates Show Significant Disparities Between States

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Teenage girl sitting on bed with pregnancy test
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Updated June 12, 2014
Despite a short-lived upward blip in 2006 and 2007, teenage birth rates in the United States continued to drop in 2010 according to an April 2012 report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The good news is that the number of teen births declined significantly between 2009 and 2010. According to the National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief, in 2010 the US birth rate for teens dropped 9% to 34.3 births per thousand women age 15-19 -- the lowest teen birth rate reported in over 60 years.

However, the decline of teen birth rates between 2007-2010 was not experienced across the board. Three states did not see a significant change in their teen birth rates.

The rate of teenage births by state varies significantly across the US, with 12% of states seeing a teen birth rate more than triple that of New Hampshire, which has the lowest teen birth rate of any state at 15.7 births per 1,000 women ages 15-19.

Which states have the highest teenage birth rates? Which states have the lowest teen birth rates? Which states experienced the biggest decline in birth rates, and which saw the smallest? Below is a breakdown derived from statistical information provided by the CDC report.

All numbers represent teen birth rates per 1,000 women ages 15-19.

States With Highest Teen Birth Rates in 2010

  1. Mississippi 55.0
  2. New Mexico 52.9
  3. Arkansas 52.5
  4. Texas 52.2
  5. Oklahoma 50.4
  6. Louisiana 47.7
  7. Kentucky 46.2
  8. West Virginia 44.8
  9. Alabama 43.6
  10. Tennessee 43.2
  11. South Carolina 42.5
  12. Arizona 42.4
Although not a state, the District of Columbia also ranks high in teen birth rates -- 45.4 per 1,000 women ages 15-19.

States With Lowest Teen Birth Rates in 2010

  1. New Hampshire 15.7
  2. Massachusetts 17.1
  3. Vermont 17.9
  4. Connecticut 18.9
  5. New Jersey 20.3
  6. Maine 21.4
  7. Rhode Island 22.3
  8. Minnesota 22.5
  9. New York 22.6
  10. Wisconsin 26.2
  11. Washington 26.7
  12. Pennsylvania 27.0
States With Biggest Decline in Teen Birth Rates by Percentage

  1. Arizona 29%
  2. Florida 25%
  3. Nevada 25%
  4. Rhode Island 24%
  5. Delaware 22%
  6. Wyoming 22%
  7. Maryland 21%
  8. California 20%
  9. Colorado 20%
  10. Massachusetts 20%
  11. North Carolina 20%
  12. Virginia 20%
  13. Washington 20%
States With Smallest Decline in Teen Birth Rates by Percentage

  1. Montana *
  2. North Dakota *
  3. West Virginia *
  4. Kansas 8%
  5. Michigan 10%
  6. Alaska 11%
  7. Kentucky 12%
  8. Nebraska 12%
  9. Pennsylvania 12%
  10. Arkansas 13%
  11. Indiana 13%
  12. Iowa 13%
  13. Louisiana 13%
  14. New York 13%
* difference not statistically significant
Although not a state, the District of Columbia also saw a smaller decline in teen birth rates -- only 10%.

States With Highest Number of Teen Births in 2010

The total number of teenage births in the US in 2010 was 367,752. The following states had the highest number of teen births for that year:

  1. Texas 47,751
  2. California 43, 116
  3. Florida 19,130
  4. New York 15, 087
  5. Illinois 14,796
  6. Georgia 14,376
  7. Ohio 13,753
  8. North Carolina 12,301
  9. Pennsylvania 11,933
  10. Michigan 10,833/li>
Compare these numbers to a 2006 report by the Guttmacher Institute on teenage birth rates by state in 2000, one decade earlier. Of the top five states with the highest teen birth rates in 2000, four still retain their top positions according to the CDC report. (Only Arizona, which saw a 29% reduction of teenage birth rates from 2007-2010, dropped from the top ten.) Those states appear below as they were ranked by Guttmacher in 2006 with their current CDC ranking in parentheses:
  1. Mississippi (1)
  2. Texas (4)
  3. Arizona (12)
  4. Arkansas (3)
  5. New Mexico (2)
See also: U.S. Teen Birth Rate Declines in 2010

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