The teen birth rate in California and in Stanislaus County continue to decline, according to recent data from the California Department of Public Health.
California’s birth rate among adolescents has continued to decline to record-low levels, reports California Department of Public Health Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. The state’s 2014 numbers indicate a record low of 20.8 births per 1,000 females between the ages of 15 and 19. Those numbers reflect a 10 percent decline from 2013 and a 55 percent decline from the 2000 rate of 46.7.
"California’s continued success in reducing births among adolescents is an excellent example of public health at work,” said Dr. Smith. “We can have a positive influence on the lives of young people when we empower them with knowledge, tools and resources to make healthy choices.”
In Stanislaus County the teen birth rate in 2014 was at 30.2 per 1,000 females. The rate is a drop from the 32.4 rate recorded in 2013. In 2014 the county had a repeat birth rate among teens of 16.4, down slightly from the rate of 16.7 in 2013.
The teen birth rate in California was at 46.7 per 1,000 in 2000 and fell each year until 2006, when it rose from 38.6 in 2005 to 40.2. The rate fell every year after 2006 in California. Nationally, the rate was falling annually until 2006 and 2007 when it rose slightly before falling each subsequent year.
Among the teen births in California in 2014, the highest rate was among females between the ages of 18 to 19 years old at 19,703. Females between the ages of 15 to 17 years old had the second highest rate (8,525) and the lowest were among females younger than 15 (228).
The birth rate among adolescents decreased among all racial and ethnic groups between 2000 and 2014 in California. During this time, the birth rate dropped from 77.3 to 31.3 (births per 1,000 females aged 15 to 19) among Hispanics, 59.1 to 24.6 among African Americans, 22.3 to 8.4 among Whites and 15.0 to 3.7 among Asians.
Despite these declining birth rates, racial disparities persist in adolescent childbearing in California. African American and Hispanic adolescents are three to four times as likely to give birth as White females. In addition, the birth rate among adolescents varies considerably across counties, from a low of 7.0 in Marin County to a high of 45.1 in Kern County.
California has a number of programs aimed at preventing adolescent pregnancy and improving pregnancy outcomes among young women. CDPH funds the Information and Education Program, the Personal Responsibility Education Program authorized through the Affordable Care Act of 2010, and the Adolescent Family Life Program for expectant and parenting adolescents. In addition, the state provides no-cost family planning services to eligible men and women, including adolescents, through the Family PACT Program.