The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that California’s adolescent birth rate (ABR) continues to decline. A new state report indicates a record low of 13.9 births per 1,000 females between the ages of 15 and 19. Those numbers reflect an 11.5 percent decline between 2016 and 2017.
Declining rates can be attributed to a number of factors, including improved access to reproductive health services and increased use of contraception; delayed first sexual intercourse; and public health prevention, education and support programs.
“California’s commitment to ensuring access to reproductive health care services and sexual health education are helping teens make safe and healthy choices about pregnancy prevention,” said Acting State Public Health Officer Dr. Charity Dean.
Despite these declining birth rates, racial disparities persist in adolescent childbearing in California. African American and Hispanic adolescents are three to four times as likely to give birth as White youth. Rates also vary dramatically across counties: the county with the highest ABR has a rate 5.4 times greater than the county with the lowest ABR.
For more birth rate data, visit CDPH’s Adolescent Health Data and Statistics webpage.