16 and Pregnant: Facts about Teenage Pregnancy


The teenage pregnancy statistics for 2011 finally gave Americans some good news: the numbers are finally going down. In fact, they’ve dropped quite a significant amount, by approximately 37 percent. Statisticians are giving partial credit to shows like “16 and pregnant,” which feature teenage moms and their struggles. Unfortunately, America still has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates, so there is still a lot of work to be done.


16 and Pregnant: Facts about Teenage Pregnancy


  • The latest statistics issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that 39 out of every 1,000 teenage girls are becoming pregnant.


  • Studies also indicate that fewer teenagers are engaging in sexual intercourse than in previous years. Those that are still having sex at a young age are becoming more likely to use some form of birth control. Many teenagers are combining two forms of birth control to avoid both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, so education campaigns appear to be helping.


  • Hispanic and African-American teenagers are more likely to become young mothers than other ethnic group, according to the CDC.


  • Statistics include girls ages 18 and 19, at which time they are technically adults, so the numbers can be a little skewed. While having a baby at 18 is definitely a challenge, it is not quite the same as being 16 and pregnant because older teenagers are typically at least out of high school.


  • Teenage pregnancy may cost taxpayers over $10 billion each year when you factor in issues such as healthcare, foster care, and future sociological impacts. Some experts feel that children born to teenage mothers are more likely to suffer from a poorer education, which may lead to future criminal activities.


  • Pregnant teenagers tend to be at a higher risk for developing complications throughout their pregnancy and during delivery. Preeclampsia, a condition that causes dangerously high blood pressure and can lead to seizures, is more common in young mothers.


  • Teenage girls are more likely to underestimate the importance of quality prenatal care, especially if they are scared to tell their parents or other trusted adults about the pregnancy. Lack of prenatal care can lead to issues for both mom and baby.


  • Teen moms may also be at an increased risk of developing postpartum depression, which can affect their bond with the baby and lead to longer lasting psychological effects.


While teen pregnancy rates are decreasing, it is still important to educate young girls about these 16 and pregnant facts. It is also important to provide those who do become pregnant with a solid support system, as ostracizing a girl because she is 16 and pregnant benefits no one in the long run.