California’s teen birth rates plummet to record lows

File: Zaditza Silveira is reflected in an ultrasound machine as she takes images of pregnant mothers at the Birthing Center of South Florida.
File: Zaditza Silveira is reflected in an ultrasound machine as she takes images of pregnant mothers at the Birthing Center of South Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Teenagers having babies is not the problem it used to be — at least, not in California.

California’s overall teen birth rates have plummeted to record lows, down nearly 60 percent since the state first started keeping track in 1991. Those rates also continue to drop.

In its latest report, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) shows the overall pregnancy rate among teenagers fell 10 percent in 2010.

Laurie Weaver, chief of CDPH's family planning office, says that bipartisan support for a variety of education and clinical programs has been key to pushing down teen pregnancy rates statewide.

That includes family planning, clinical services and reproductive health services for low-income Californians, including teens.

Weaver says teen birth rates fell among all ethnic groups in 2010.

Asian and Pacific Islander teens led the pack with a 14 percent drop. They were followed by Latino teens, who still have the highest birthrates, but showed an 11 percent decline. Birth rates among African-American and white teens fell 8 percent each.

More figures on the new birth rate totals from California's Department of Public Health can be found below.

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