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Teen birth rates dropped dramatically among blacks and Hispanics

Nurses tend newborns at Sloane Hospital for Women in New York City.
Nurses tend newborns at Sloane Hospital for Women in New York City.
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Teen birth rates across the nation have fallen by more than 40 percent in the last decade.  

A new study put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that between 2006 and 2014, births to American teenagers ages 15 to 19 dropped significantly.

There was an even more dramatic drop among black and Hispanic teens, with birth rates falling by 44 percent and 51 percent, respectively. Bill Albert chief program officer for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy says he was not surprised by these findings. 

"One of the nation's great success stories over the past two decades has been the historic decline in teen pregnancy and child bearing and the progress that the nation has made has been both very wide and very deep."

There are two reasons that could be contributing to this. The first is that teenagers in general are having less sex. The second is that teens today have better access to contraception and are taking advantage of long-acting contraception such as IUDs and other injectable implants. 

"They're sort of set it and forget it kind of contraception," says Albert. 

But despite the progress, blacks and Hispanics continue to have higher pregnancy rates than white teens. 

"We have to recognize that teen pregnancy is both a cause and consequence of poverty. Economic disparities remain in the African American community and the Latino community and that is also playing a role."

But Albert remains optimistic that the decline will continue in the coming years.