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Teen birth rate falls in state, county
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The teen birth rate in California saw another yearly decline in 2011, which includes a significant drop in Stanislaus County.

California’s teen birth rate was at 28.0 births per every 1,000 teens ages 15 to 19 years in 2011, the last year analyzed by the California Department of Public Health. The rate is the lowest since 1991, when it peaked at 70.9 per one thousand, according to the CDPH. 

“California’s innovative strategies and community partnerships aimed at lowering teen pregnancy are helping young women and men make responsible choices,” said Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the CDPH. “We must not be complacent; we must continue to promote teen pregnancy prevention programs and strategies in all communities."

The decrease in teen birth rates was reflected among all ethnic groups. Hispanic teens 15-19 years old continued to have the highest birth rate at 42.7 per 1,000, but they demonstrated a decline of 42 percent, down from 73.6 per 1,000 in 2001. From 2001 to 2011, the number of births per 1,000 teens dropped among African American teens from 51.8 to 34.1, among white teens from 20.1 to 11.2, and among Asian teens from 13.9 to 5.3. 

The decline in the California teen birth rate between 2010 and 2011 resulted in 1,335 fewer births among 15 to 17 year olds and 3,639 fewer births among 18 and 19 year olds. These 4,974 fewer teen births saved California taxpayers approximately $149 million, according to the CDPH.

In Stanislaus County the teen birth rate in 2011 was at 34.5 births per every 1,000 teens ages 15 to 19. The rate is a drop from the 39.1 posted in 2010 and the 42.0 in 2009. Even with the decline, Stanislaus County was again among the top counties with an average teen birth rate higher than the state. Merced and San Joaquin counties were also included in this list.

CDPH funds the Information and Education Program, the Personal Responsibility Education Program, which was authorized through the Affordable Care Act of 2010, and the Adolescent Family Life Program for pregnant and parenting teens.

Locally, the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency sponsors the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Collaborative, which is a coalition of local stakeholders with the mission of decreasing teen pregnancies through education and outreach.