African-American rates drop nine percent, but still remain high.
Teen pregnancy rates have hit an all-time low says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the recent report, teen pregnancy rates decreased by nine percent from 2009 to 2010. That indicates 34.3 births per 1,000 were to a teenage mother ages 15 to 19, which is a 44 percent drop from 1991 to 2010.
The CDC also found a decrease among all races and ethnicities, but disparities still remain.
Latino, Native American and Alaskan teenage birth rates dropped by 12 percent, while African-American and white rates dropped by nine percent. Latinos still hold the highest numbers with 55.7 births of every 1,000 births. Black teen mothers were not too far behind with 51.5 births for every 1,000 births.
According to CBS.com, other findings include:
—There were declines in 47 states and the District of Columbia from 2007 to 2010, with the biggest drop in Arizona at 29 percent. Rates in Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia stayed about the same.
—The highest rate once more was in Mississippi, with 55 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19, though its rate has also continued to fall, dropping 21 percent over three years.
—New Hampshire has the lowest teen birth rate in the nation, just under 16.
—Teen birth rates tend to be highest in the South and Southwest, lowest in the Northeast and Upper Midwest.
So why the drastic decrease?
The CDC says more teens are adhering to the preventive methods they have been given, and there has been a significant increase in the use of condoms and birth control pills over the years.
While these numbers show a step in the right direction, more work needs to be done, especially around safe sex. Not only are American teens still nine times more likely to have babies than any other developed country, but they also bear the brunt of the STD epidemic in the U.S.
BET Health News - We go beyond the music and entertainment world to bring you important medical information and health-related tips of special relevance to Blacks in the U.S. and around the world. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)