October 23, 2014

Report shows drop in Wisconsin’s teen birth rates

Efforts to reduce teen pregnancies in Wisconsin over the past decade appear to be paying off, in at least some parts of the state.

A new report from University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health shows there was a 20 percent decline in births among 15-19-year-old women between 2000 and 2010. Dr. Patrick Remington, the author of the study, says that means there were about 1,700 fewer teen moms in the state, compared to rates from a decade ago.

While the report found a drop in rates among white and black teens, Native American teen births went up 21 percent and the number of Hispanic mothers increased by 30 percent. Remington says “clearly some of the progress that’s being seen in some parts of the state and in some communities is not being experienced by all.”

AUDIO: Dr. Patrick Remington (:38)

Broken down county-by-county, the lowest rates were found in wealthy Ozaukee, Pierce and Waukesha Counties. The highest rates were in some of the poorest areas of the state, such as Milwaukee and Menominee Counties.

Remington says communities should use the information to help identify strategies that have been effective in reducing teen pregnancy rates and to help set goals for the future.