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Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Minorities
NCES 2007-039
September 2007

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). Birth rates are reported as the number of live births per 1,000 females of a particular age group. In 2004, the birth rate was 41 births per 1,000 15- to 19-year old females. The birth rate for Hispanic (83), Black (63), and American Indian/Alaska Native (53) teenage females was higher than that of the general population of teenage females.

Birth rates for female teenagers of all race groups rose between 1985 and 1991. During this period, the largest increase in birth rates was for Black females, from 95 to 115. Between 1991 and 2004, birth rates dropped for 15-to 19-year-old females of all racial/ethnic groups. The largest decline for all racial/ethnic groups during this time was for Black teenage females, whose birth rate declined from 115 to 63. The birth rate for Hispanic teenagers declined from 105 in 1991 to 83 in 2004. During this period, American Indian/Alaska Native teenager birth rates declined from 84 to 53, and White teenager rates declined from 53 to 38.

Asian/Pacific Islander teenagers have had consistently lower birth rates in comparison to White, Hispanic, Black, and American Indian/Alaska Native teenagers. Black teenagers had higher birth rates than their peers of other racial/ethnic groups from 1990 to 1994. Since 1995, Hispanic teenagers have had higher birth rates than Blacks and all other groups, and the difference between the birth rates of Blacks and Hispanics has increased.

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