Welfare Indicators and Risk Factors: Thirteenth Report to Congress. Nonmarital Birth Risk Factor 3. Nonmarital Teen Birth Rates

03/01/2014

Figure BIRTH 3a. Births per 1,000 Unmarried
Teens Ages 15 to 17 by Race: 1960-2011

(Rate per 1,000)

Figure BIRTH 3a. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 15 to 17 by Race: 1960-2011

Figure BIRTH 3b. Births per 1,000 Unmarried
Teens Ages 18 and 19 by Race: 1960-2011

(Rate per 1,000)

Figure BIRTH 3b. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 18 and 19 by Race: 1960-2011

Note: Rates are per 1,000 unmarried women in specified group. Trends in non-marital births may be affected by changes in the reporting of marital status on birth certificates and in procedures for inferring non-marital births when marital status is not reported. Beginning in 1980, data are tabulated by the race of the mother. Prior to 1980, data are tabulated by the race of the child.

Race categories include those of Hispanic ethnicity. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately.

Prior to 1969, race data were available for Whites and Non-Whites only.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940-1999,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 48 (16), 2000; “Births: Final Data for 2011,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 62 (1), June 28, 2013, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/nvsr.htm.


  • Figures BIRTH 3a and 3b show births per thousand unmarried teens between the ages of 15 to 17 and 18 to 19 from 1960 to 2011. Table BIRTH 3 shows corresponding estimates for selected years between 1950 and 2011.
  • The birth rate per thousand unmarried teens ages 15 to 17 decreased in 2011 for both Black and White teens. The rate for Black teens ages 15 to 17 has been cut by more than two-thirds from 79.9 per thousand in 1991 to 24.7 per thousand in 2011. The 2011 rate is lower than in any other year since 1969, the first year in which data on Black women were collected.
  • The birth rates of unmarried teens in the older age group (18 and 19 years) showed a decrease in 2011. For Black teens ages 18 and 19, the birth rate fell from a high of 147.7 per thousand in 1991 to a low of 100.4 per thousand in 2003 before again decreasing to 77.4 births per thousand in 2011.
  • Prior to 1994, birth rates among unmarried White teens in both age groups rose steadily for over four decades. For White teens 15 to 17 years of age, the birth rate increased from 4.4 births per thousand unmarried teens in 1950 to 23.9 births per thousand unmarried teens in 1994. Subsequently their rate has generally followed a downward trend to 13.4 per thousand. In 2011, for 18 to 19 year olds, the rate increased from 8.5 births per thousand unmarried teens in 1950 to 55.8 births per thousand unmarried teens in 1994. Until 2008 their rate fluctuated between 50 and 54 but by 2011 had declined to 43 per thousand.
  • While birth rates among unmarried Black teens remain high compared to rates for unmarried White teens, the gap between Black and White teens narrowed during the 1990s and 2000s.

Table BIRTH 3. Births per Thousand Unmarried Teen Women by Age and Race: 1950-2011

Year Ages 15 to 17 Ages 18 and 19
All Races White Black All Races White Black
1950 9.9 3.4 NA 18.3 8.5 NA
1955 11.1 3.9 NA 23.6 10.3 NA
1960 11.1 4.4 NA 25.0 11.4 NA
1965 12.5 5.0 NA 25.8 13.9 NA
1966 13.1 5.4 NA 25.6 14.1 NA
1967 13.8 5.6 NA 27.6 15.3 NA
1968 14.7 6.2 NA 29.6 16.6 NA
1969 15.2 6.6 72.0 30.8 16.6 128.4
1970 17.1 7.5 77.9 32.9 17.6 136.4
1971 17.5 7.4 80.7 31.7 15.8 135.2
1972 18.5 8.0 82.8 30.9 15.1 128.2
1973 18.7 8.4 81.2 30.4 14.9 120.5
1974 18.8 8.8 78.6 31.2 15.3 122.2
1975 19.3 9.6 76.8 32.5 16.5 123.8
1976 19.0 9.7 73.5 32.1 16.9 117.9
1977 19.8 10.5 73.0 34.6 18.7 121.7
1978 19.1 10.3 68.8 35.1 19.3 119.6
1979 19.9 10.8 71.0 37.2 21.0 123.3
1980 20.6 12.0 68.8 39.0 24.1 118.2
1981 20.9 12.6 65.9 39.0 24.6 114.2
1982 21.5 13.1 66.3 39.6 25.3 112.7
1983 22.0 13.6 66.8 40.7 26.4 111.9
1984 21.9 13.7 66.5 42.5 27.9 113.6
1985 22.4 14.5 66.8 45.9 31.2 117.9
1986 22.8 14.9 67.0 48.0 33.5 121.1
1987 24.5 16.2 69.9 48.9 34.5 123.0
1988 26.4 17.6 73.5 51.5 36.8 130.5
1989 28.7 19.3 78.9 56.0 40.2 140.9
1990 29.6 20.4 78.8 60.7 44.9 143.7
1991 30.8 21.7 79.9 65.4 49.4 147.7
1992 30.2 21.5 77.2 66.7 51.2 146.4
1993 30.3 21.9 75.9 66.2 52.0 140.0
1994 31.7 23.9 73.9 69.1 55.8 139.6
1995 30.1 23.3 67.4 66.5 54.7 129.2
1996 28.5 22.3 62.6 64.9 53.5 127.2
1997 27.7 22.0 59.0 63.9 52.9 124.8
1998 26.5 21.5 55.0 63.6 53.1 121.5
1999 25.0 20.7 50.0 62.3 52.9 115.8
2000 23.9 19.7 48.3 62.2 53.1 115.0
2001 22.0 18.1 43.8 60.6 52.1 110.2
2002 20.8 17.5 39.9 58.6 51.0 104.1
2003 20.3 17.2 38.1 57.6 50.4 100.4
2004 20.1 17.1 37.0 57.7 50.4 100.9
2005 19.7 16.8 35.4 58.4 50.9 101.6
2006 20.4 17.4 36.6 61.8 53.9 107.8
2007 20.8 18.0 36.3 63.9 55.9 109.1
2008 20.6 18.0 35.5 61.9 54.2 104.4
2009 19.3 16.9 32.6 58.2 51.1 96.8
2010 16.8 15.1 27.6 52.0 46.9 83.6
2011 14.9 13.4 24.7 48.2 43.4 77.4

Note: Rates are per 1,000 unmarried women in specified group. Trends in non-marital births may be affected by changes in the reporting of marital status on birth certificates and in procedures for inferring non-marital births when marital status is not reported. Beginning in 1980, data are tabulated by the race of the mother. Prior to 1980, data are tabulated by the race of the child.

Race categories include those of Hispanic ethnicity. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940-1999,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 48 (16), 2000; “Births: Final Data for 2011,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 62 (1), June 28, 2013, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/nvsr.htm.

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