In 2010, some 614,000 pregnancies in the US were among teenagers (women aged 15-19). This means that about 6% of teens became pregnant that year—the lowest rate in more than 30 years. And the teenage abortion rate (14.7 abortions per 1,000 women) was the lowest since abortion was legalized. Dr. Kathryn Kost, lead author of the new study “U.S. Teenage Pregnacies, Births and Abortions, 2010: National and State Trends by Age, Race and Ethnicity” by the Guttmacher Institute, says the access to information and contraceptive services to prevent unwanted pregnancies are “paying off.”
The study also found dramatic declines in teen pregnancy rates among all races. Since the peak of teen pregnancies in the 1990s, the rate has declined 56% among both white teens and black teens (between 1990 and 2010) and 51% among Hispanic teens. However, rates among black and Hispanic teens remain twice as high as the rate for white teens. Among US states, New Mexico had the highest teenage pregnancy rate (80 pregnancies per 1,000 women).