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Teen Pregnancy Rates By State

Teen Pregnancy Rates By State
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Understanding Teen Pregnancy Rates in America

Teen pregnancy is a public health concern with a ubiquitous presence in the United States. Even though there has been a significant overall decrease in teen pregnancy rates in the past two decades, it continues to influence the socio-economic and health outlook of numerous affected teens and families. The data under review highlights teen pregnancy rates per 1,000 women within the ages of 15 and 19 across 50 states.

Key findings from the data include:

  • Southern states, primarily Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana, lead the country with the highest teen pregnancy rates - 27.9, 27.8, and 25.7 respectively, per 1,000 women.
  • States known for being more liberal, such as Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont, tailed the list recording the lowest teen pregnancy rates – 6.1, 6.6, and 7.0 respectively.
  • There is a noticeable disparity in teen pregnancy rate between the highest (Mississippi - 27.9) and the lowest (Massachusetts - 6.1) ranking states. A massive 78% drop. This discrepancy indicates an inconsistency in the effectiveness of preventative measures like sex education and access to contraceptives, or socio-economic factors across different states.
  • Interestingly, the data consistently underscores that teen pregnancy is more prevalent in the South and Midwest, and less common in the Northeast and West. A likely testament to the varying degrees of influence that education, religious beliefs, cultural norms and accessibility to healthcare services have across the country.

States with Highest Teen Pregnancy Rates

The U.S states with the highest instances of teen pregnancy, highlighted here using the metric of teen pregnancies per 1,000 women, are Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Texas, and New Mexico. 

Topping the list is Mississippi, recording the highest teen pregnancy rate of 27.9 per 1,000 women. Immediately following is Arkansas, with a marginally lower but still high rate of 27.8 per 1,000 women. Furthermore, Louisiana captures the third position with a teen pregnancy rate of 25.7 per 1,000 women. 

Oklahoma ranks fourth with a figure of 25.0 per 1,000 women, and Alabama rests not far behind with a rate of 24.8 per 1,000 women. Kentucky and Tennessee sit at sixth and seventh position, with rates of 23.8 and 23.3 per 1,000 women respectively. 

The final three states in the top ten, West Virginia, Texas, and New Mexico, secure their spots with rates of 22.5, 22.4, and 21.9 per 1,000 women respectively.

10 States with Highest Teen Pregnancy Rates (per 1k Women):

  1. Mississippi - 27.9
  2. Arkansas - 27.8
  3. Louisiana - 25.7
  4. Oklahoma - 25.0
  5. Alabama - 24.8
  6. Kentucky - 23.8
  7. Tennessee - 23.3
  8. West Virginia - 22.5
  9. Texas - 22.4
  10. New Mexico - 21.9

By State

Full Data Set

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Methodology