This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Friday, April 29, 2016

Teen Birth Rate Continues its Decline in the US

The US Centers for Disease Control yesterday released a report showing that the teen birth rate in the U.S. is continuing to decline. Here's the trend over time:



The Washington Post has nice coverage of the story:
The decline of the past decade has occurred in all regions in the country and among all races. But the most radical changes have been among Hispanic and black teens, whose birthrates have dropped nearly 50 percent since 2006.
Theories on the reasons for the dramatic shift include everything from new approaches to sex education to the widespread availability of broadband Internet. But most experts agree on the two major causes.
Theories on the reasons for the dramatic shift include everything from new approaches to sex education to the widespread availability of broadband Internet. But most experts agree on the two major causes.
The first is the most important and may be obvious: Today's teens enjoy better access to contraception and more convenient contraception than their predecessors, and more of them are taking advantage of innovations like long-acting injectable and implantable methods that can last years over a daily birth control pill. But the second cause is something that goes against the conventional wisdom. It's that teens -- despite their portrayal in popular TV and movies as uninhibited and acting only on hormones -- are having less sex.
This is all obviously good news, but the chart above also shows that the rates remain higher among black and Hispanic teenagers than among whites, so there is still a lot of work to do.

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