Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Minorities
NCES 2010-015
July 2010

Indicator 21. Teenage Pregnancy

Teenagers who have children are less likely to complete high school than their peers who do not have children (Hofferth, Reid, and Mott 2001). For this indicator, teenage birth rates are reported as the number of live births per 1,000 females who are 15 to 19 years old. In 2007, the birth rate was 43 births per 1,000 15- to 19-year-old females.22 The birth rates for Hispanic (82 per 1,000), Black (64 per 1,000), and American Indian/Alaska Native (59 per 1,000) teenage females were higher than that of the general population of teenage females. Comparatively, the 2007 birth rate for White teenage females was 27 births per 1,000 females and that for Asians/Pacific Islanders was 17 per 1,000.

In 1991, the teenage birth rate was highest for Black females (118 per 1,000) and Hispanic females (105 per 1,000). Between 1991 and 2005, birth rates dropped for 15- to 19-year-old females of all racial/ethnic groups. The birth rate for Black teenage females declined from 118 per 1,000 in 1991 to 61 per 1,000 in 2005, which was the greatest drop of all racial/ethnic groups. During this same period, the birth rates for Hispanic teenage females declined from 105 per 1,000 to 82 per 1,000, and American Indian/Alaska Native teenage birth rates declined from 84 per 1,000 to 53 per 1,000. White teenage birth rates declined from 43 per 1,000 to 26 per 1,000, and Asian/Pacific Islander teenage birth rates declined from 27 per 1,000 to 17 per 1,000. Between 2005 and 2007, birth rates increased for the first time in 15 years for each race/ethnicity, with the exception of Hispanics and Asians/Pacific Islanders. The birth rate increased to 64 per 1,000 for Blacks, 59 per 1,000 for American Indians/Alaska Natives, and 27 per 1,000 for Whites. The birth rate in 2007 for Hispanic 15- to 19-year-olds was the same as the birth rate in 2005 (82 per 1,000).

Asian/Pacific Islander teenage females have had consistently lower birth rates compared with White, Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native teenage females. Black teenage females had higher birth rates than their peers of other racial/ethnic groups from 1990 through 1994. Since 1995, Hispanic teenage females have had higher birth rates than Black teenage females and teenage females from all other racial groups shown. The gap between the birth rates of Blacks and Hispanics generally increased through 2005, but decreased more recently between 2005 and 2007.

View Table View Table 21a
View Table View Figure 21

In 2006, teenage birth rates varied across Hispanic subgroups.23 Mexican-American teenage females had a higher birth rate (93 per 1,000) than Puerto Ricans (69 per 1,000) and other Hispanics (67 per 1,000). From 1990 to 2005, all Hispanic subgroups experienced a decline in teenage birth rates. The greatest decline was for Puerto Rican teenage females, whose birth rate declined from 102 per 1,000 to 63 per 1,000. For Cuban teenage females, the birth rate declined from 30 per 1,000 to 24 per 1,000 between 1990 and 2000 (the last year of available data). Between 2005 and 2006, the birth rates increased to 69 per 1,000 for Puerto Ricans and 67 per 1,000 for other Hispanic subgroups, while the birth rate for Mexican-American females remained at 93 per 1,000. In 2006, Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and other Hispanics each had birth rates higher than the rates for the general population of teenage females.

View Table View Table 21b


22 Data for 2007 are preliminary.

23 Data for 2007 by Hispanic subgroups were not available at the time of publication.