Teen birth rate drops once more

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Fewer teens are having babies nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control reported last week.

More than 40 babies are born every day per 1,000 teens ages 15 to 19 in Mississippi. Mississippi, Arkansas and New Mexico round out the worst for teen birth rates. The states with the fewest babies born to teens have a rate of 11 per 1,000.

While that many children being born to teens here in our state is not ideal, the CDC did report declines in the rates in every state and among every racial and ethnic group.

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The Hispanic birth rate fell 51 percent (now 38 births per 1,000), the black birth rate fell 44 percent (now 35 per 1,000) and the white birth rate fell 44 percent (now 35 per 1,000).

The focus on preventative measures across the country is working. Experts attribute the rate decline to more teens both waiting to have sex and using birth control.

The more teens that get an education, find employment and wait to have children until they are full-fledged adults, the better Mississippi will fare, because it all goes back to education and getting as much of it as possible.