The teen birthrate in 2011 set another new record low, according to the latest federal data, released Thursday. The numbers reflect a continued trend downward for teens having babies.
The new rate, 31.3 births per 1,000 women ages 15-19, is about half the 1991 rate of 61.8 births per 1,000 teens, which was an all-time high, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
The teen birthrate has been dropping steadily since the 1991 peak, save for blips in 2006 and 2007. The new report shows particularly steep drops, with a 25% decline in the overall teen birthrate just since 2007.
During 2007-11, teen birthrates fell at least 15% for all but two states — North Dakota and West Virginia. Rates fell 30% or more in seven states, with the largest drops — 35% each — in Arizona and Utah.
In that same period, the three largest population groups all experienced declines in their teen birthrates, with Hispanic teens dropping the most at 34%, followed by declines of 24% among blacks and 20% for whites.
The new federal data also show a drop in the overall number of teen births. The 329,797 babies born to mothers ages 15-19 reflects a 26% decline since 2007.