Sacramento, California - California’s teen birth rate has continued to decline to a record-low of 25.7 births per every 1,000 females ages 15-19, announced Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the state public health officer. The 2012 rate reflects an 8 percent decline from the 2011 rate of 28.0.
"I am very pleased with the positive strides California is making in reducing teen pregnancy,” Chapman said. “By encouraging positive and sensible choices for our young men and women, we can inspire our youth to strive for successful futures.”
Teen birth rates decreased among all racial and ethnic groups between 2000 and 2012. While Hispanic adolescents continue to have the highest birth rate at 38.9 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19, they also had the greatest decline down from a 77.3 in 2000 – a 49.7 percent drop. From 2000 to 2012, the number of births per 1,000 females ages 15-19 also dropped among African Americans from 59.1 to 30.8, among Whites from 22.3 to 10.2, and among Asians from 15.0 to 5.0.
Delaying childbearing until adulthood can improve both maternal and infant outcomes, and increase youth opportunities for educational and career success. California has a number of programs and policies aimed at preventing adolescent pregnancy and improving outcomes of such pregnancies. Some of the key components of the State’s multi-pronged approach include:
• State laws requiring school-based and other state-funded sexuality education to be comprehensive, medically accurate, and age-and culturally-appropriate.
• Community-based education programs that provide sexual health information, skill development, and supportive environments and opportunities for youth.
• Services and supports for expectant and parenting adolescents to empower young families to be successful and thrive.
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 males and females, including youth, through the Family PACT Program.
For more teen birth data, visit CDPH’s website: California Teen Births 2000-2012