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United States Adolescent Reproductive Health Facts

Final data for 2016 indicate that the birth rate for adolescents ages 15-19 dropped nine percent between 2015 and 2016, reaching another historic low.RH1

Of all births in the U.S., percenta to females under age 20, 2015 and 2016RH1, RH2

Total 2015 2016
Females under age 20 6% 5%

Number of births to females under age 20, 2015 and 2016RH1, RH2, RH3

Total1 2015 2016
Females under age 20 232,215 212,062
Mother's Age 2015 2016
Under 15 2,500 2,253
15-17 61,184 54,741
18-19 168,531 155,068
15-19 229,715 209,809
Mother's race/ethnicityb 2015 2016
Non-Hispanic white2 91,415 81,774
Non-Hispanic black2 50,884 46,686
American Indian or Alaska Native2,3 4,791 4,446
Asian or Pacific Islander2,3 4,334 4,653
Hispanic4 81,350 75,708

Teen birth rate (births per 1,000 females ages 15-19), 2015 and 2016RH1, RH2, RH4

Total1 2015 2016
Females ages 15-19 22.3 20.3
Mother's Age 2015 2016
15-17 9.9 8.8
18-19 40.7 37.5
Mother's race/ethnicity 2015 2016
Non-Hispanic white2 16.0 14.4
Non-Hispanic black2 31.8 29.3
American Indian or Alaska Native2,3 25.7 23.7
Asian or Pacific Islander2,3 6.9 7.3
Hispanic4 34.9 31.9

Percent changea in the teen birth rate, 1991-2016 and 2015-2016RH1, RH2

Total 1991 to 2016 2015 to 2016
Change in rate to females ages 15-19 -67% -9%

◇ The U.S. teen birth rate peaked in 1991 at 61.8 births per 1,000 teen females ages 15-19.


Of all births to females under age 20, percenta by race/ethnicity, 2015 and 2016RH1, RH2

Mother's race/ethnicityb 2015 2016
Non-Hispanic white2 39% 39%
Non-Hispanic black2 22% 22%
American Indian or Alaska Native2,3 2% 2%
Asian or Pacific Islander2,3 2% 2%
Hispanic4 35% 36%

Of all births to females under age 20, percenta repeat births, 2015 and 2016RH1, RH2, RH3

Total1 2015 2016
Females under age 20 17% 16%
Mother's race/ethnicityb 2015 2016
Non-Hispanic white2 14% 14%
Non-Hispanic black2 17% 17%
American Indian or Alaska Native2,3 18% 18%
Asian or Pacific Islander2,3 16% 16%
Hispanic4 18% 18%

Percent low birthweight§ births, among females under age 20, 2015 and 2016RH3

Total 2015 2016
Females under age 20 10% 10%

§ Low birthweight is defined as less than 2,500 grams (about 5.5 pounds or 5 pounds and 8 ounces).


Teen pregnancy rate (estimated pregnancies per 1,000 females ages 15-19), 2011 and 2013RH5

Total 2011 2013
Females ages 15-19 52 43
Age 2011 2013
15-17 27 21
18-19 89 76

Percent changea in the teen pregnancy rate, 1990-2013RH5

Total 1990-2013
Change in rate to females ages 15-19 (1990 to 2013) -62%

◇ The U.S. teen pregnancy rate peaked in 1990 at 117.6 pregnancies per 1,000 females ages 15-19.


Teen abortion rate (abortions per 1,000 females ages 15-19), 2011 and 2013RH5

Total 2011 2013
Females ages 15-19 14 11
Age 2011 2013
15-17 8 6
18-19 22 18

Percent changea in the teen abortion rate, 1988-2013RH5

Total 1988-2013
Change in rate to females ages 15-19 (1988 to 2013) -75%

◇ The U.S. teen abortion rate peaked in 1988 at 44.0 abortions per 1,000 females ages 15-19.RH5


Sexual behaviors among high school students (grades 9-12), 2015 and 2017RH6

Percent of high school students who report they have ever had sexual intercourse 2015 2017
Total 41% 40%
Male 43% 41%
Female 39% 38%
Percent of high school students who report they had sexual intercourse for the first time before 13 years of age 2015 2017
Total 4% 3%
Male 6% 4%
Female 2% 2%
Percent of high school students who report they have had sexual intercourse with 4 or more persons 2015 2017
Total 11% 10%
Male 14% 12%
Female 9% 8%
Percent of high school students who report they drank alcohol or used drugs before last sexual intercourse (among students who were currently sexually active) 2015 2017
Total 21% 19%
Male 25% 22%
Female 16% 16%

Birth control use among sexually active high school students (grades 9-12), 2015 and 2017RH6

Percent of high school students who report they or their partner used a condom during last sexual intercourse 2015 2017
Total 57% 54%
Male 62% 61%
Female 52% 47%
Percent of high school students who report they or their partner used birth control pills before last sexual intercourse 2015 2017
Total 18% 21%
Male 15% 19%
Female 21% 22%
Percent of high school students who report they or their partner used an IUD (e.g., Mirena or Paragard) or implant (e.g., Implanon or Nexplanon) before last sexual intercourse (to prevent pregnancy) 2015 2017
Total 3% 4%
Male 2% 3%
Female 5% 5%
Percent of high school students who report they or their partner used a shot (e.g., Depo-Provera), patch (e.g., OrthoEvra), or birth control ring (e.g., NuvaRing) before last sexual intercourse (to prevent pregnancy) 2015 2017
Total 5% 5%
Male 3% 2%
Female 8% 7%
Percent of high school students who report they or their partner used birth control pills; an IUD or implant; or a shot, patch, or birth control ring before last sexual intercourse (to prevent pregnancy) 2015 2017
Total 27% 29%
Male 20% 24%
Female 34% 35%
Percent of high school students who report they or their partner used both a condom during last sexual intercourse and birth control pills; an IUD or implant; or a shot, patch, or birth control ring before last sexual intercourse (to prevent pregnancy) 2015 2017
Total 9% 9%
Male 6% 9%
Female 12% 9%
Percent of high school students who report they or their partner did not use any method to prevent pregnancy during last sexual intercourse 2015 2017
Total 14% 14%
Male 12% 10%
Female 15% 17%

Relationship violence among high school students who report dating in the past 12 months (grades 9-12), 2015 and 2017RH6

Percent of high school students who report they experienced physical dating violence, including being hit, slammed into something, or injured with an object or weapon on purpose by someone they dated or went out with 2015 2017
Total 10% 8%
Male 7% 7%
Female 12% 9%
Percent of high school students who report they experienced sexual dating violence, e.g., being forced to do sexual things (such as kissing, touching, or being physically forced to have sexual intercourse) they did not want to do by someone they dated or went out with 2015 2017
Total 11% 7%
Male 5% 3%
Female 16% 11%

Forced sex among high school students (grades 9-12), 2015 and 2017RH6

Percent of high school students who report they were ever physically forced to have sexual intercourse (when they did not want to) 2015 2017
Total 7% 7%
Male 3% 3%
Female 10% 11%

Data notes

All percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.
National and state data sheets are updated annually. The specific timing of updates depends on the release schedule of the data sources cited for each topic.
1
Includes all births, including those with Hispanic origin not stated and not shown separately.
2
Race and Hispanic origin are reported separately on birth certificates. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. Race categories are consistent with the 1977 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) standards.
3
Includes persons of Hispanic, non-Hispanic and origin not stated according to mother’s reported race.
4
Includes all persons of Hispanic origin, of any race.
a
Calculated for this webpage.
b
Beginning with the 2016 birth data, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reports race consistent with the 1997 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) standards, where “single race” is defined as one race reported on the birth certificate. In order to show 2015 estimates for comparison, this webpage shows estimates by race/ethnicity using the “bridged race” categories that are consistent with the previous 1977 OMB standards, provided through NCHS and the CDC WONDER interactive vital statistics tool.

Data sources

RH1
Birth data from 2016 are from: Martin, J. A., Hamilton, B. E., Osterman, M. J., Driscoll, A. K., & Drake, P. (2018). Births: Final data for 2016. National Vital Statistics Reports, 67(1). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr67/nvsr67_01.pdf
RH2
Birth data from 1991 and 2015 are from: Martin, J. A., Hamilton, B.E., Osterman, M. J. K., Driscoll A. K., & Mathews, T. J. (2017). Births: Final data for 2015. National Vital Statistics Reports, 66(1). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr66/nvsr66_01.pdf
RH3
Births, repeat births, and low birthweight data by race/ethnicity are from: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). About natality, 2007-2016 [Data set]. Retrieved from https://wonder.cdc.gov/natality-current.html
RH4
Birth data by race/ethnicity using bridged race categories provided by: Reproductive Statistics Branch of the Division of Vital Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD. Received February 14, 2018.
RH5
Pregnancy and abortion rate data are from: Kost, K., Maddow-Zimet, I., & Arpaia, A. (2017). Pregnancies, births and abortions among adolescents and young women in the United States, 2013: National and state trends by age, race and ethnicity. Retrieved from https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/report_pdf/us-adolescent-pregnancy-trends-2013.pdf
RH6
High school data are from: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). 1991-2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey [Data set]. Retrieved from http://nccd.cdc.gov/YouthOnline/App/Default.aspx

 

Content created by Office of Adolescent Health
Content last reviewed on July 17, 2018