Press Release

For Immediate Release: June 15, 2000
Contacts: Nancy Nelson or Wendy Audette, 651-644-1447

Teen Pregnancy, Birth Rates in MN Continue to Drop

(Saint Paul, MN) The pregnancy rate for girls aged 15-19 in Minnesota declined five percent in 1998 to 43.8 pregnancies per 1,000 woman. And, the birth rate for teens aged 15-19 dropped three percent over 1997 rates to 31.0 births per 1,000 teen girls, according to data from the Center for Health Statistics at the MN Department of Health.

These figures represent the latest in a ten-year trend in declining teen pregnancy and birth rates in MN. The teen pregnancy rate in MN has decreased by 26 percent since its peak in 1990; the teen birth rate declined 15 percent during that same period.

This trend in Minnesota reflects the national trend in decreasing teen pregnancy and birth rates. In 1998, the US teen birth rate was 51.1 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19, an 18 percent drop since 1991. The US teen pregnancy rate has dropped 15 percent since 1991, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Responding to these figures, Nancy Nelson, Executive Director of the Minnesota Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Prevention and Parenting (MOAPPP) said, "The lower teen pregnancy and birth rates show that more and more of our teenagers are taking control of their lives. They’re focusing on their futures, having sex less and using contraception more often when they do have sex."

Despite the declining rates, however, the absolute number of pregnancies and babies born to teenagers is increasing as the total teen population increases. In 1998, 7,892 teenage girls become pregnant and 5,597 gave birth – 300 more pregnancies and 267 more births than five years previously in 1994.

"Yes, it’s critical that we celebrate the overall drop in pregnancy and birth rates. However, now is not the time to let down our guard. Nearly 5,600 babies are being born to teenage parents each year in Minnesota. And Minnesota continues to lead the nation in teen pregnancy and birth rates in our communities of color," says Nelson. "What these figures show is that we can make a difference. By supporting local programs and enlisting new partners in our state and local pregnancy prevention efforts we can renew our commitment to making sure our teenagers are empowered to make responsible decisions and that babies are born to adult parents who are ready to care for them."

MOAPPP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 1991 to strengthen the policies and programs related to adolescent pregnancy, prevention and parenting in Minnesota. MOAPPP is the statewide leader in pregnancy prevention information exchange, awareness and advocacy.

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Minnesota Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Prevention and Parenting
1619 Dayton Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104 · (651) 644-1447, fax (651) 644-1417
moappp@moappp.org; www.moappp.org