Births to teenagers represent the number of births to a woman under 20 years of age on the date of delivery divided by the total number of births for a designated location.
Almost two-thirds of pregnancies that occur in women under 20 are unintended pregnancies1, which may lead to delayed prenatal care that affect both the health of the infant and cause increased risk for morbidity mothers2. Teenage mothers are also less likely to complete high school and college, placing them on a lower education level, lower income group, and at greater risk for negative health outcomes3. Children born to teenage mothers experience higher rates of low birth weight and mortality, and are more likely to develop chronic health problems, drop out of school, and become unemployed3.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Adolescent Reproductive Health. http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/AdolescentReproHealth/index.htm
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Unintended Pregnancy Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/unintendedpregnancy/index.htm
3 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America. http://www.commissiononhealth.org/Education.aspx