- MEASURE DETAIL
Teen Birth Rate measures the number of births per 1,000 mothers ages 15 to 19. These data are collected by the CDC from birth certificates as part of the National Vital Statistics System.
Prevention of teen and unplanned pregnancy is an important part of a healthy community. According to the CDC, 409,840 infants were born to 15 to 19 year olds in 2009, for a live birth rate of 39.1 births per 1,000 women in this age group. Nearly two-thirds of these births were unintended in girls younger than age 18 and more than half were unintended among 18 to19 year olds. CDC estimates that teen pregnancy costs more than $9 billion per year to U.S. taxpayers for “increased health care and foster care, increased incarceration rates among children of teen parents, and lost tax revenue because of lower educational attainment and income among teen mothers”. A valuable resource for further information about teen and unplanned pregnancy is available from The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (www.thenationalcampaign.org/default.aspx).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vital signs: Teen pregnancy--United States, 1991--2009. MMWR 2011;60(13):414-420.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), http://www.cdc.gov/TeenPregnancy/AboutTeenPreg.htm. Accessed October 26, 2011.
The measures tracked by America's Health Rankings are those actions that can affect the future health of the population. For a state to improve the health of its population, efforts must focus on these measures, these determinants of health.
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