Spotlight Exclusives

Rare Teen Birth Rate Increase Could Signal Rise in Poverty

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On Wednesday, the National Center for Health Statisticsreleased its final survey of 2006 birth data in the United States.  The report confirms that the teen birth rate increased by 3 percent from 2005 to 2006.  This may not seem like much, but it is the first annual teen birth rate increase in 14 years.

In a November Spotlight commentary, Andrea Kane, the senior director for policy and partnerships at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, detailedthe extensive link between teen and unplanned pregnancy and poverty.

As she discussed in her piece, children born to teen mothers are nine times more likely to grow up in poverty.  Studies show that the sharp decline in the teen birth rate during the 1990s was responsible for 25 percent of the overall reduction in child poverty during that time.

The recent upswing in teen births is not yet close to eroding the steep reduction in teen and unplanned pregnancies over the last 20 years.  Yet it may be an early warning signfor teen births and for poverty.


Posted by Mike


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