Arizona Teens Not Getting Knocked Up Like They Used to, According to Report
Arizona had the largest decrease of teenagers giving birth over the last few years than any other state, according to numbers released by the National Center for Health Statistics.
That's important, since teenagers have a higher risk of low birthweight, premature birth, babies dying in infancy, passing on high costs to the public, and starring on shitty MTV reality-television programming like "16 and Pregnant."
Arizona, along with Utah, saw teen birth rates decrease 35 percent from 2007 to 2011 (the most recent data available).
In 2011, 38.5 per 1,000 teenagers gave birth in Arizona, which is still higher than most states -- but it's getting better.
Additionally, it doesn't appear that the decrease in teen births is due to an increase in teen abortions.
The director of the state Department of Health Services told us on the heels of an abortion report released in September that the rate of teenagers receiving abortions has decreased about 30 percent from 2000 to 2011, despite abortions across all ages increasing, as he drew a parallel to the ongoing decrease in teen births.
This new report also shows that the birth rate among Hispanic teens in Arizona dropped pretty drastically from 2007 to 2011 -- 46 percent.
If you're not really concerned about teenagers getting pregnant, then consider this -- the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy says teen pregnancies cost taxpayers nearly $11 billion in 2008 alone -- an estimate based on costs of public health, child welfare, incarceration, and lower taxes paid by the children of teen moms, who are expected to have lower levels of education and earnings.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.