SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced
that California’s adolescent birth rate (ABR) continues to decline. A new state report
indicates a record low of 13.9 births per 1,000 females between the ages of 15 and 19.
Those numbers reflect an 11.5 percent decline between 2016 and 2017.
Declining rates can be attributed to a number of factors, including improved access to
reproductive health services and increased use of contraception; delayed first sexual
intercourse; and public health prevention, education and support programs.
“California’s commitment to ensuring access to reproductive health care services and
sexual health education are helping teens make safe and healthy choices about
pregnancy prevention,” said Acting State Public Health Officer Dr. Charity Dean.
Despite these declining birth rates, racial disparities persist in adolescent childbearing in
California. African-American and Hispanic adolescents are three to four times as likely
to give birth as White youth. Rates also vary dramatically across counties: the county
with the highest ABR has a rate 5.4 times greater than the county with the lowest ABR.
For more birth rate data, visit CDPH’s Adolescent Health Data and Statistics webpage.