A Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study finds that the highest teenage births in the U.S. are predominately in Southern states. The lowest rates are in the Northeast and upper Midwest.
The results were revealed in a CDC study release on Wednesday.
According to the report, birthrates fell to an average of 41.4 births per 1,000 teens in 2008 from 42.5 in 2007. 14 states saw a decline. But there was an increase reported from 2005 to 2007.
Teen births vary from low numbers like 19.8 babies per 1,000 females ages 15 to 19 in New Hampshire, to a high of 65.7 babies per 1,000 teens in Mississippi. California teenage birth rates were 38.4 per 1,000 teens.
Researchers reported that education, income, sexual activity, and contraceptive use are all major factors. Added factors are teen’s attitudes toward pregnancy and childbearing.
Teen births are generally more significant among Black and Latino populations. Results from 2007 shows that Latino teens give birth at nearly three times the rate of White teens, and Blacks give birth at almost two times the rate of White teens.
Black teenage birth rates in Hawaii are at 17.4 percent to higher rates in Wisconsin at 95.1.
The overall highest teen births occur in Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.
States with the lowest birth rates includes Massachusetts, Vermont, and Connecticut.
Teenage pregnancies and birthrates are a critical area of study because teen parents are less likely to attend college and their children have lower chances of being healthy. Teen parents also earn less on a national scale than women who have children later in life.