Teen Birth Rate At Record Low, Condom Use Increases In 2005

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Teen Birth Rate

The teen birth rate in the U.S. reached a record low in 2005, andcondom use among high school students increased, according to a reportreleased on Friday by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, the Washington Post reports (Kaufman, Washington Post,7/13). The report, titled "America's Children: Key National Indicatorsof Well-Being 2007," was compiled from data and studies at 22 federalagencies and addressed 38 key indicators, the AP/USA Today reports.

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Accordingto the report, the birth rate among girls ages 15 to 17 declined from39 births per 1,000 girls in 1991 to 21 births per 1,000 girls in 2005(Kerr, AP/USA Today, 7/13). In 2005, the birth rate per1,000 girls in this age group was 12 for non-Hispanic whites, 35 fornon-Hispanic blacks, and 48 for Hispanics (Federal Interagency Forum release, 7/13).

Accordingto the report, 47% of high school students, or 6.7 million, reportedhaving had sexual intercourse in 2005, compared with 54% in 1991. Therate of high school students reporting having sex has remainedunchanged since 2003, according to the AP/USA Today.Sixty-three percent of those who reported having sex during athree-month period in 2005 said they used condoms, compared with 46% in1991, the report showed (AP/USA Today, 7/13). The reportalso found that the percentage of girls who said they used birthcontrol remained stable. In addition, births among unmarried women intheir 20s increased significantly, and the birth rate for unmarriedwomen increased, the Post reports (Washington Post, 7/13).

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"The implications for the population are quite positive in terms oftheir health and their well-being," Edward Sondik, director of CDC's National Center for Health Statistics,said, adding, "The lower figure on teens having sex means the risk ofsexually transmitted diseases is lower." James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth,said, "I think the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the efforts in the '80s and'90s had a lot to do with" reducing teen sex and adolescent births andincreasing condom use. He added, "We need to encourage young teens todelay sexual initiation, and we need to make sure they get all theinformation they need about condoms and birth control" (AP/USA Today, 7/13).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyWomen's Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for emaildelivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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