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Forum News Service, Published June 18 2013

Teen births decline 14 percent in Minnesota, report says

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. - Declining teen pregnancies in Minnesota indicate that some kids are listening when their parents have “the talk.”

Teenwise Minnesota reported the number of teen mothers fell 14 percent between 2010 and 2011. Education and human services are credited as major reasons for the drop. A 16.5 percent decrease was reported for the 18- to 19-year-old group alone; those teens are considered adults. “Teens” are between the ages of 15 to 19 for most of Teenwise’s studies.

Birth rates were measured per 1,000 teen girls for Teenwise statistics. The statewide teen birth rate, based on this calculation, is about 19 births per 1,000 girls, a 50 percent dive from Minnesota’s peak of 36.5 in 1990.

However, the number of births is not representative of the number of actual pregnancies. There were 59 teen pregnancies per 1,000 in 1990 and almost 30 recorded in 2010, when there were 22.4 births, meaning not all babies were born.

In 2010, 5,351 females ages 15 to 19 and 89 girls younger than 15 became pregnant in Minnesota. Of those girls, 4,023 15- to 19-year-olds delivered babies, as did 47 girls younger than 15. Nationally, 34.3 15- to 19-year-olds delivered babies.

For more information on the Teenwise Minnesota study, visit www.moappp.org.