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California Experiences Another Significant Drop in Adolescent Births 

Date: 6/16/2015 
Number: 15-043 
Contact: Anita Gore or Orville Thomas - (916) 440-7259 

SACRAMENTO – California’s adolescent birth rate has continued to decline to a record-low of 23.2 births per 1,000 females aged 15-19, announced California Department of Public Health (CDPH) director and state health officer Dr. Karen Smith. The 2013 rate reflects an 11 percent decline from the 2012 rate of 26.2 and a 50 percent decline from the 2000 rate of 46.7.

"California’s continued success in reducing adolescent births is an excellent example of public health at work,” Smith said. “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." 

The adolescent birth rate decreased among all racial and ethnic groups between 2000 and 2013. Over this time, adolescent birth rate dropped among Hispanics from 77.3 to 34.9, among African Americans from 59.1 to 28.3, among Whites from 22.3 to 9.3, and among Asians from 15.0 to 4.3.

Despite declining birth rates, disparities persist in adolescent childbearing in California. African American and Hispanic adolescents were 3.0 and 3.8 times, respectively, as likely to give birth as White females. In addition, the adolescent birth rate varies considerably across counties, from a low of 8.1 in Marin County to a high of 49.1 in Kern.

California has a number of programs aimed at preventing adolescent pregnancy and improving pregnancy outcomes. The State of California funds the Information and Education Program, the Personal Responsibility Education Program authorized through the Affordable Care Act of 2010, and the Adolescent Family Life Program for expectant and parenting adolescents. In addition, the State provides no-cost family planning services to eligible males and females, including adolescents, through the Family Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment (PACT) Program.

For more adolescent birth data, visit CDPH’s website.
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