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US Birth Rate All Time Low

US Birth Rate All Time Low - The U.S. teen birth rate hit an all-time low in 2009 — a decline that stunned experts say is partly because of the economy.

The birth rate for teenagers fell to 39 births per 1,000 girls, ages 15 through 19, according to a government report released Tuesday. It was a 6 percent decline from the previous year, and the lowest rate since health officials started tracking it in 1940.

Experts say the recession from December 2007 to June 2009 was a major factor driving down births overall and there's good reason to think it affect would-be teen mothers.

US Birth Rate All Time Low

"I'm not suggesting that teens are examining futures of 401ks or how the market is doing," said Sarah Brown, chief executive of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

"But I think they are living in families that experience that stress. They are living next door to families that lost their jobs. The recession has touched us all," said Brown.

Teenage mothers, who account for about 10 percent of the nation's births, are not unique. The total number of births has been dropping, as have birth rates among all women except those 40 and older.

For comparison, look to the peak year of teenage births — 1957. There were about 96 births per 1,000 teenage girls that year, but it was a different era, when women married younger, said Stephanie Ventura, a co-author of the report issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC births report is based on a review of most birth certificates for 2009.

US Birth Rate All Time Low

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