November 21, 1995
BIRTHS TO TEENAGERS RISE SLIGHTLY
SPRINGFIELD, IL --The number of babies born to Illinois teenagers rose slightly last year, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported today.
In 1994, teens gave birth to 24,668 babies, 273 more than in 1993, or 13 percent of the 189,182 births reported in the state last year. More than 80 percent of the teenage births were to single teen moms.
The percentage of Illinois births to teenagers has remained relatively stable for the past five years, ranging from a low of 12.8 percent of all births to a high of 13.1 percent. In 1990, teenagers accounted for 13.1 percent of all births, one-tenth of a percent higher than reported in 1994.
"All sectors of society must be committed to addressing this problem," said Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director. "Teens need to hear from those who influence their lives-- parents, preachers, teachers, health care providers, advertisers, entertainers and friends--that it is all right to postpone having sex."
"They also must understand the consequences of premature sexual activity, which include increased risk of AIDS and HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases. And an unwanted pregnancy can result in undereducation, underemployment and poverty," Dr. Lumpkin said.
"While it would be best if all teenagers abstained from sex until they are prepared emotionally and financially to cope with the consequences of sexual activity and children, we know from experience that will not happen. For those who have initiated sexual relationships, it is not too late to provide them with decision-making and partner communication skills and with information about contraceptives," Dr. Lumpkin said.
In Illinois in 1994, there were 10,230 babies born to children 10 to 17 years of age, or 42 percent of all teen births. Births to 18- and 19-year-olds totaled 14,438. In 1993, there were 10,069 births to teens 17 years of age and younger, and 14,326 births to 18- and 19-year-olds.
Among racial groups, African-American teenagers accounted for 43 percent of all teen births, or 10,634; 98 percent of these teenagers were unmarried. There were 8,801 births to white teens, 75 percent of whom were unmarried, and 5,048 births to Hispanic teens, 69 percent of whom were unmarried.
The number of births to teen mothers and the percentage of the state's total births for the last five years were 1990, 25,545 (13.1%); 1991, 25,291 (13.0%); 1992, 24,601 (12.9%); 1993, 24,395 (12.8%); and 1994, 24,668 (13.0%).
See Health Statistics for list of births to teenage mothers for 1993 and 1994 by age, according to county of residence.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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