Teen Birth Rate at Record Low in California

California’s teenage birthrate continues to decline and was at a record low in 2014, the state Department of Public Health announced today.

Still, racial disparities persist in the state, where African American and Hispanic adolescents are three to four times as likely to give birth as white teens.

Statewide, there were 20.8 births per 1,000 girls and women between the ages of 15 and 19 in 2014.

That’s a 10 percent decline from 2013. The teen birth rate has decreased by more than half since 2000, when it was 46.7.

“California’s continued success in reducing births among adolescents is an excellent example of public health at work,” state public health director and health officer Karen Smith said in a release. “We can have a positive influence on the lives of young people when we empower them with knowledge, tools and resources to make healthy choices.”

The adolescent birth rate decreased among all racial and ethnic groups in the state between 2000 and 2014.

During this time, the birth rate dropped from 77.3 to 31.3 among Hispanics, from 59.1 to 24.6 among African Americans, from 22.3 to 8.4 among whites and from 15 to 3.7 among Asians.

In addition to racial disparities, some geographic disparities exist in California. For example, in affluent Marin County, the birth rate was 7 in 2014, but in Kern County it was 45.1.

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