The number of kids having kids in our state is going down…..way down. A new study just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows Arizona is one of 17 states that saw a decreases of 50% or more in teen birth rates among all urban counties.
…the report showed that teen birth rates have declined 57 percent in Arizona’s large urban counties, dropping from 58.8 births per 1,000 females in 2007 to 25.5 births per 1,000 females in 2015. Furthermore, teenage birth rates dropped 48 percent – from 38.1 births to 20.9 births per 1,000 females between the ages of 15 and 19 – in large urban counties nationwide.
“Access to science-based information and education about preventing pregnancy certainly had to play a key role in young people’s decision making and actions leading to this significant decline in birth rates among teenagers,” said Brenda Thomas, CEO of the Arizona Family Health Partnership in a press release. “It also underscores the critical importance of ensuring access to and availability of these types of resources in every community in Arizona.”
Although the drop wasn’t as dramatic, rural counties also saw a decline in teen birth rates. According to AZBigMedia.com, “In rural Arizona counties, the teen birth rate fell 39.1 percent from 65.7 births per 1,000 in 2007 to 40 in 2015.”
However, a recent report on KTAR News suggests the drop isn’t solely a result of abstinence. The story says fewer teens are pregnant because of an increased, and increasingly effective, use of contraceptives.
A new study said birth control is the key to declining pregnancy rates among Arizona teenagers…..However, Arizona still has the 12th-highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation.
The study recommended that more work be done to improve access to and use of contraception among adolescents.
Earlier this month, the research organization HealthGrove used CDC data to rank states based on sex education programs. Arizona ranked number 1 in the report – meaning our state is considered to have the worst sexual education programs in the country.
Share your thoughts on these recent reports and the next steps you believe are necessary if we hope to continue to see a drop in teen birth rates in our state. Working together with our partners to find innovative solutions to the health issues facing Arizonans will help us take another step toward our long-term goal of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!