|December 18, 2003||Total number of teen births by county
Births to mothers under 20 years of age, 1959 - 2002
TEEN BIRTHS FALL FOR EIGHTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The number of babies born to Illinois teenagers continued an eight-year decline in 2002, falling to a record low, according to the latest Illinois Department of Public Health birth statistics released today by IDPH Director Dr. Eric E. Whitaker.
"We've seen a positive trend now for nearly a decade in battling what has been a serious problem for our youth and society," Dr. Whitaker said. "There's a lot of credit to be shared, from the teens themselves to the efforts of their parents, teachers, clergy and community organizations, to government prevention programs."
Progress was greatest among the youngest teens with births to girls age 10 to 14 down by almost 50 percent since 1993 (49.5%) and down by 35 percent among girls age 15 to 17. The percentage of births to teens age 18 to 19 dropped 15.3 percent. Overall, teen births fell 24 percent from 1993 to 2002 (24,395 to 18,546).
The reduction in teen births by race since 1993 was greatest among African Americans with a 39 percent decline (10,938 to 6,704). Among whites, teen births fell 29 percent (8,577 to 6,106), while Hispanic teen births rose 18 percent in the past 10 years from 4,736 in 1993 to 5,589 in 2002.
In 2002, teen births were down in all racial categories from the previous year. African Americans accounted for 36 percent of all teen births compared with 36 percent or 7,265 in 2001. Whites accounted for 33 percent of teen births compared with 33 percent or 6,625 in 2001. Births to Hispanic teens accounted for 30 percent of the total teen births or 5,589 and were down slightly from the 6,004 reported in 2001.
Dr. Whitaker said the prevention of teen births has important health consequences for both the teen and her child. Teenagers are less likely to receive regular prenatal care, more likely to smoke when pregnant and more likely to have a low birth weight infant, all of which are factors in infant deaths and poor health outcomes.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported in recent years that the decline in teen births can be attributed, in part, to a reduction in students engaging in sexual intercourse (down 16 percent from 1991 to 2001) and an increase in the use of contraceptives among students having sexual intercourse.
The number of teen births and the state's total birth percentage for the past 10 years are as follows:
· 1993: 24,395 (12.8%)
Click here for a county-by-county chart of 2002 Illinois teen births.
of Public Health
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Springfield, Illinois 62761
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