Maureen Renfro's Blog: 8 Facts About Teen Pregnancy

Thursday, January 1, 2015

8 Facts About Teen Pregnancy

Teenage pregnancy poses a serious risk to the health of teen mothers and their babies, and to society as a whole, which has to pay the economic and social costs of teen pregnancy.

1. Parenthood is the leading reason that teen girls drop out of school. More than 50% of teen mothers never graduate from high school.

2. In the United States, there are nearly 750,000 teen pregnancies each year, that's about 2000 a day! This means that about 30% of girls get pregnant at least once. That 30% is heavily skewed towards minorities. It's estimated that about HALF of Latina and African American teenagers will be pregnant at least once before they're 20.

3. About 80% of teen fathers don't marry the mom. They also contribute very little to raising the baby. On average, teen dads pay less than $800 a YEAR on child support. That 80% number can mean trouble. It's estimated that children who live apart from their dads are 5 times MORE likely to be poor than if they live with both parents. 

4. Teen pregnancy greatly affects education. Only 51% of teen moms have a high school diploma. The number for those who didn't have a teen birth is closer to 89%.

5. 3 in 10 teen American girls will get pregnant at least once before age 20. That’s nearly 750,000 teen pregnancies every year.

6. The United States has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the western industrialized world.

7. Younger sexually active teens are especially at risk for pregnancy and other negative consequences of sex. Teen girls who first have sex before the age of 13 are more likely to have had sex involuntarily. Even among those for whom their first sexual experience was voluntary, about a quarter did not really want the experience to occur. Teens with partners who are much older than themselves are twice as likely to have unwanted sex, and more likely to have unprotected sex.

8. Babies born to teen mothers are at higher risk of medical problems such as low birth weight due to improper fetus growth and/or early delivery. The younger a mother is, the more chance there is of her baby dying during its first year of life. The babies of teen mothers are more likely to have disabilities due to premature birth. Also, the children of teen mothers are more likely to live in poverty, to drop out of high school, and to become teen parents themselves.