On July 24, 2001 the Associated press (AP) reported that the teen birth
rate fell to a record low in the United States last year, continuing a
steady drop that began in the 1990s, the government said Tuesday.
For every 1,000 girls ages 15 to 19, there were 48.7 births last year
— the lowest rate in the six decades the statistic has been kept, the
National Center for Health Statistics said.
Last year was the ninth straight year the rate has declined. It has
dropped 22 percent since 1991.
``The continued decline in the teen birth rate is very encouraging
news,'' said Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. ``When
teens postpone parenthood, it benefits not only their lives, but society
as a whole.''
Analysts have attributed the steady decline to a broad range of
factors, including more awareness of HIV/AIDS, increased abstinence and
the economic boom of the 1990s, which led many teens to put off starting
families so they could take jobs.
The nation's highest teen birth rate was in 1957, roughly 96 births per