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Health Department: Teen birth rate down in St. Louis, follows national trend

(via Flickr/Daquella manera)

A new release out from the St. Louis Department of Health today says teen birth rates are down in the city of St. Louis. Here are a few by-the-numbers details for you from the Department:

  • From 1991 to 2009 teen birth rates have declined by 50 percent, resulting in about 1,000 fewer teen births. This follows the national trend which is also declining.
  • Between 1991 and 2010 teen birth rates declined by 44 percent nationally.
  • In 1991, there were 1,826 total teen birth in the city, resulting in a rate of 132 teen births per 1,000 teens.
  • In 2009, the total teen births were down to 754, a rate of just over 66 births per 1,000 teens.

The Department says that its outreach efforts along with its community partners have contributed to the decline. They say efforts have been made to teach middle school and high school teens about the negative impacts of teen pregnancies.
"We are pleased to see this decline in teen pregnancy in the City," St. Louis health director Pamela Rice Walker said. "Having a child as a teenager can trap both mother and child in a cycle of poverty that is difficult to end. Statistically, most teen mothers do not attend college and many do not even finish high school. By working to decrease the teen birth rate, we are providing our residents a chance for a better future."

The Department encourages parents and guardians to talk to their children about the risks of teenage sex and the responsibilities of parenthood at an early age.