Hispanic Teens in Georgia Don’t Want to Get Pregnant

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Hispanic teen girl in cap and gown

A new report,  Declines in State Teen Birth Rates by Race and Hispanic Origin, released this week by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics found that teen birth rates among Hispanics dropped on average 34 percent in the United States—and by 40 percent or more in 22 states, including Georgia—between 2007 – 2011. This is a sharper decline than seen for non-Hispanic black or white teenagers. Overall, the CDC report noted that teen birth rates fell at least 15 percent in all but two states.

 In Georgia there were 2,925 births to Hispanic girls ages 15 – 19 in 2007—a birth rate of 114.5 per 1,000.

In 2011 there were 1,885 births to Hispanic girls ages 15 – 19 in Georgia, causing the teen birth rate to fall dramatically to 58 per 1,000 births for Hispanic girls.

This compares to 27 per 1,000 for white teen girls and 46 per 1,000 for black teen girls in Georgia.

Possible reasons for this significant drop may include delayed sex and increased contraceptive use among Hispanics, and the fact that the vast majority of Hispanic teens do not want to get pregnant. Declines in Hispanic teen births since 1991 are similar to those for white teens. The declines for African-Americans are even higher. Since the declines started later for Hispanic teens, they’re just now catching up.

But we can’t afford to take our eyes off this issue, even for a moment. Based on the most recent estimates, 28 percent of Hispanic girls will have a birth before they reach age 20, and the vast majority of these births are unintended.