State public health officials say California’s teen birth rate has fallen for another year, continuing a longer-term downward trend.
From 2011 to 2012 -- the latest year for which data are available -- the state’s teen birth rate fell 9 percent, from 28 to just under 26 births for every 1,000 females aged 15 to 19.
Nearly every major racial and ethnic group experienced a drop. Pacific Islanders saw a 13 percent decline, from 22.7 to 19.8 births per 1,000 females. The African-American rate declined 10 percent, from 34.1 to 30.8 births, and Latinas dropped 9 percent.
Latinas still have the state’s highest teen birth rate, at nearly 39 births for every 1,000 females, but that’s half of what it was in the year 2000.
Only one group, Native Americans, experienced an increase in its rate (seven percent) from 2011-2012.
Overall, the statewide teen birth rate has fallen by nearly half since 2000.
The lowest rate of teen births is among Asians: there are just five for every 1,000 females. For white teens, there are 10.2 births per 1,000 females.
State officials say laws requiring school-based sex education and the availability of community-based sexual health programs have been the main drivers of the decrease in teen births.