Report: 10 MN teens a day got pregnant in 2014 – a historic low


Every day in 2014, approximately 10 Minnesota teens got pregnant and seven gave birth.

And that's actually a historic low.

Those figures are from the University of Minnesota's 2016 Minnesota Adolescent Sexual Health Report, which found teen birth and pregnancy rates in Minnesota have continued to fall. Those most recent numbers are described as a historic low.

The drop is thanks in part to teens having sex later in life, and better use of protection when they do have sex, the U of M says, citing a 2015 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those numbers have recently been updated. The CDC released its 2016 report just a couple weeks ago, and found the national teen birth rate has fallen to an all-time low.

Racial and ethnic differences still significant

The CDC also found a "dramatic decrease" in pregnancy and birth rates among Minnesota teens of color. But disparities are still there.

Birth rates for American Indian, black and Hispanic teens in Minnesota are more than three times greater than their white counterparts.

There are also geographic disparities: Teen pregnancy and births disproportionately affect counties in greater Minnesota.

Here are a few tables that detail what the report (which also looked at sexually transmitted illnesses) found.

Birth rates by year, age

The birth rate for Minnesotans age 15-19 dropped by 8.1 percent from 2013 to 2014, while pregnancy rates decreased by 8.2 percent during that time.

Since the early 1990s, teen pregnancy rates have dropped 66 percent, with birth rates down 58 percent.

Counties with the highest birth rates

The 10 counties with the highest birth rates are all in greater Minnesota. The U of M says improving teen sexual health requires focusing on rural areas, and on serving men (sexual health care for teens outside the metro tends to be geared toward women).

Birth rates by race

Birth rates dropped in every racial group from 2013 to 2014, with the biggest decrease among American Indians (15 percent decline) and Asian/Pacific Islanders (19 percent decline), the report found.

What to do?

To fix the disparities in rates of birth, pregnancy and sexually transmitted illnesses, the report says programs and services need to meet the needs of teenagers in underserved populations – including those of color, those from rural areas, the homeless ,and LGBTQ persons.

To read the full report, and for a detailed look at each county in Minnesota, click here.

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