Teen Births in California: No Time for Complacency
2012 | Download
California’s teen birth rate has dropped below 30 births per thousand for the first time in more than 40 years. Its 2010 rate of 29.0 represents a 59% decrease since its high point of 70.5 births per thousand in 1991. This issue of No Time for Complacency examines the causes and consequences of California’s nation leading teen birth rate reduction.
California’s progress has been unmatched among the other 49 states. The national teen birth rate decreased 45% during this same period, from 61.8 to 34.3 births per thousand. And the teen birth rate in Texas, a state that is demographically similar to California, decreased just 26%, from 78.4 to 58.0. California’s rate now stands at exactly half the Texas rate.
Hispanics continue to drive California’s teen birth rate reduction (see Figure 1). Although still experiencing a higher rate than any other racial/ethnic group, in just four years, the Hispanic teen birth rate decreased by a phenomenal 20 births per thousand, from 65.0 in 2006 to 45.0 in 2010. Smaller decreases occurred among other racial/ethnic groups in California: 7.0 among American Indians, 6.8 among non-Hispanic Blacks, 3.6 among Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 1.9 among non-Hispanic Whites.