Teen birth rates drop across the country, significant improvements made in Florida

Teen birth rates dropped significantly across the country and across races between 2007 and 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Ceter for Health Statistics reported this week. Florida saw one of the most dramatic drops — a 31 percent decrease in teen births.

Nationally, the teen birth rate dropped 25 percent from 2007 to 2011, the latest year of national teen birth data. Florida was one of seven states to have more than a 30 percent decrease.

There were significant declines for all races — particularly for non-Hispanic black and Hispanic teens, who are disproportionately affected by teen births. In Florida, the Hispanic teen birth rate declined 46 percent, while the  non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black teen birth rates declined 25 and 24 percent, respectively.  

Although Northeast Florida still lags slightly behind the state and nation in the overall teen birth rate, the region has seen similar declines. From 2007 to 2011, the regional teen birth rate declined 34.5 percent — from 48.1 to 31.5 births to teens ages 15–19 per 1,000 teens ages 15–19.

Teen pregnancy is addressed in several locations throughout Florida, including Northeast Florida, through the federal government’s Personal Responsibility Education Program. The Coalition, which has one of 10 projects in the state, is implementing the 4Me Teen Health Project at nine community sites. The comprehensive sex education program includes a teen education series, a parent workshop and a six-month Teen Leadership Council.