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Teen Birth Rate Dropped to Lowest Ever in 2009, CDC Report Says

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Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- The birth rate for teenagers in the U.S. dropped to the lowest ever in 2009, falling 8 percent from a year earlier, the largest single-year drop since 2001.

The birth rate of girls ages 15 to 19 was 39.1 births per 1,000 in 2009, according to data from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The birth rate remained steady or dropped among girls ages 15 to 17 in every state except West Virginia.

Teenage births had fallen for 14 years until increasing 5 percent from 2005 to 2007, the agency has reported. Since 1991, the birth rate among girls ages 15 to 19 has dropped 37 percent, although the U.S. still has the highest birth rate in industrial countries, according to today’s report.

“Teen sexual activity declined or leveled off in the 1990s through the mid-2000s,” while contraceptive use increased or stabilized, according to the CDC report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Lopatto in New York at elopatto@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net.

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