California’s Adolescent Birth Rate Falls to Record Low
The adolescent birth rate in California has reached a record low, indicating that the state's efforts to prevent adolescent pregnancy are working, according to data released by the state Department of Public Health, the Lake County News reports.
Efforts To Prevent Adolescent Pregnancy
California provides funding for several programs aimed at reducing the adolescent birth rate and improving outcomes among those who already are pregnant, including:
- The Adolescent Family Life Program for adolescents who are pregnant;
- The Information and Education Program; and
- The Personal Responsibility Education Program, authorized under the Affordable Care Act.
The state's Family Planning, Access, Care and Treatment Program also provides no-cost family planning services to adolescents (Lake County News, 6/17).
Details of State's Adolescent Birth Rate
In 2013, California's adolescent birth rate fell to 23.2 births per 1,000 female residents ages 15 to 19 -- a 50% decline since 2000.
The decrease in adolescent birth rates was seen across every ethnic and racial group in the state. For instance, birth rates per 1,000 female adolescents between 2000 and 2013 dropped from:
- 77.3 to 34.9 among Hispanics;
- 59.1 to 28.3 among blacks;
- 22.3 to 9.3 among whites; and
- 15 to 4.3 among Asians.
However, DPH found that black and Hispanic adolescents were about three times as likely to give birth that white adolescents.
Meanwhile, adolescent birth rates varied significantly by county, ranging from 8.1 births per 1,000 female adolescents in Marin County to 49.1 per 1,000 in Kern County.
In a release, DPH Director Karen Smith said, "California's continued success in reducing adolescent births is an excellent example of public health at work," adding, "By providing adolescents the knowledge, tools and resources to make healthy choices, we can have a positive effect on their options for a successful future" (DPH release, 6/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.