Massachusetts teen birth rate at a historic low

Rate now at 12 births per 1,000 women age 15-19

BOSTON (WWLP) – The number of teenagers who are having children continues to go down. According to numbers released Friday by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the teen birth rate in Massachusetts has hit its lowest recorded level. The statistics cover the year 2013, and found that there were only 12 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19. That is down from the year before, when there were 14 births per 1,000 women of that age group.

In a statement sent to 22News, Secretary of Health and Human Services John Polanowicz said that they are thrilled with the news, but there is still much work to be done.

“Teen pregnancy can have serious consequences in so many aspects of a young person’s future, from lower educational attainment to higher rates of marital instability and single parenthood,” Polanowicz said. “That’s why it’s so important that we continue to work with our partners to drive the teen birth rate even lower.”

The same study found that the overall birth rate in Massachusetts also declined, but that women who are having children are increasingly likely to get adequate pre-natal care. It also found that the number of women who smoke during pregnancy continues to decline, and that more mothers are choosing to breastfeed their babies.

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