Teen Pregnancy Rates Drop, But Varies Greatly by State

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Rates of teen pregnancy are showing a decline, according to a report released October 20 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The newest figures use 2008 data, and while they show a decline of 2.4%, to 41.5 pregnancies per 1,000 teenagers, experts are still worried about the high teen pregnancy rate, especially among certain states and certain racial and ethnic groups.

"Teen birth rates vary a lot from state to state, and perhaps more importantly, one of the driving factors in that is the difference between race and Hispanic-origin groups," said Paul Sutton, a statistician with the National Center for Health Statistics and one of the authors of the CDC report.

For example, while Minnesota and Wisconsin were among the 10 states with the lowest rates of teenage birth overall, both states had pregnancy rates among black teenagers that put them in the top 10 nationwide, with 80.9 and 95.1 pregnancies per 1,000 black teenagers, respectively.

New Hampshire had the lowest rate nationwide, with 19.8 births per 1,000 teenagers, while Mississippi had the highest, with a rate of 65.7.

Experts call for a renewed plan of action to reduce this teen pregnancy trend — because what we're doing so far isn't working.  Government-mandated sex education classes in public schools is just one of the ways America is trying to decrease its teen pregnancy rate – but, do you think it works?

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