Houston Matters

Why Are Teen Birth Rates in Texas Much Higher than Nationally?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a preliminary National Vital Statistics Report on birth rates in 2013. According to the CDC, teen birth rates are at their lowest ever. In 2013, there were 26.6 births per one thousand women aged 15 to 19. That’s down 10 percent from 2012 (29.4), which was […]

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a preliminary National Vital Statistics Report on birth rates in 2013. According to the CDC, teen birth rates are at their lowest ever. In 2013, there were 26.6 births per one thousand women aged 15 to 19. That's down 10 percent from 2012 (29.4), which was the previous historic low for the United States.

But according to recent United Nations data, it's still a rate 5.5 times higher than in some Western European nations.

And here in Texas, the 2012 teen birth rate was 44.4 per one thousand women – that's about 50 percent higher than the 2012 national average.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we explore why teen birth rates are declining, yet are still much higher in Texas than in the rest of the country. We also discuss what could be done locally to further curb the teen birth rate in Harris County. Then we discuss current policies in Texas regarding teaching sex education in public schools.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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