Teen births took a 6% plunge last year, with just 39.1 out of every 1,000 girls aged 15 to 19 becoming moms, according to new government statistics released today. It’s the second straight year the numbers have fallen, after a record low in 2008. “The decline in teen births is really quite amazing,” the National Center for Health Statistics official who conducted the study tells the Washington Post.
The teen birth rate has fallen 16 out of the past 18 years. It rose in 2006 and 2007, but these new declines lead analysts to believe that was an aberration. Some have noted that the decline also coincides with the financial crisis and recession. “I would not have guessed that teenagers would be most responsive to the economic downturn,” said one demographics professor, “but maybe we need to revise our stereotypes.”