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Health Highlight Report for Harding County

Teen Birth Rate: Births per 1,000 Girls in the Population, 2015-2017

  • Harding County
    95% Confidence Interval (0.0 - 81.5)
    Statistical StabilityVery Unstable
    New Mexico
  • Harding County Compared to State

    gauge ranking
    Description of Dashboard Gauge

    Description of the Dashboard Gauge

    This "dashboard" type graphic is based on the community data on the right. It compares the community value on this indicator to the state overall value.
    • Excellent = The community's value on this indicator is BETTER than the state value, and the difference IS statistically significant.
    • Watch = The community's value is BETTER than state value, but the difference IS NOT statistically significant.
    • Improvement Needed = The community's value on this indicator is WORSE than the state value, but the difference IS NOT statistically significant.
    • Reason for Concern = The community's value on this indicator is WORSE than the state value, and the difference IS statistically significant.

    The community value is considered statistically significantly different from the state value if the state value is outside the range of the community's 95% confidence interval. If the community's data or 95% confidence interval information is not available, a blank gauge image will be displayed with the message, "missing information."
    NOTE: The labels used on the gauge graphic are meant to describe the community's status in plain language. The placement of the gauge needle is based solely on the statistical difference between the community and state values. When selecting priority health issues to work on, a community should take into account additional factors such as how much improvement could be made, the U.S. value, the statistical stability of the community number, the severity of the health condition, and whether the difference is clinically significant.

Why Is This Important?

Poverty is one of the most important contributing factors to teenage pregnancy. In 2016, New Mexico had the 3rd highest child poverty rate among all states (25.9% of children age 0-17 in poverty) (U.S. Census Bureau, 2017). "Nearly all teen pregnancies are unplanned - that is, teens themselves say they did not intend to get pregnant or cause a pregnancy. More and more, teens are able to match their intentions with their actions. As a result of many factors, including increased access to and awareness of sexual health information and birth control, the United States has seen a 67 percent decline in the teen birth rate since 1991, including profound declines in all 50 states and among all racial/ethnic groups. Each year, about 210,000 teens still give birth, which is about 20 births for every 1,000 girls. To put another way, nearly two out of every 100 teen girls will have a child each year. Rates are higher among young people living in poverty, living in foster care, or facing persistent racism and discrimination. Add in the positive impact that preventing teen pregnancy can have on so many other issues: reducing poverty and improving young people's lifelong income, improving health and child welfare, supporting responsible fatherhood, and reducing other risky behaviors, and preventing teen pregnancy becomes not only a reproductive health issue but a national priority. What's more, daughters born to women in their 20s are three times less likely to become teen moms themselves compared with daughters of teen moms - so it is a change that ripples across generations" (Power to Decide, 2018, formerly the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy,

Risk and Resiliency Factors

Poverty is one of the most important contributing factors to teenage pregnancy. In 2013, New Mexico ranked 2nd among all states and the District of Columbia in percentage of children living in poverty (30.1% of children age 0-17 in poverty). Teens who have dropped out of school are more likely to become pregnant and have a child than their peers who stay in school. The NM high school dropout rate in 2012 was 29.6%, compared to 24.5% nationally. Teen parenthood is most common in rural areas.

How Are We Doing?

From 2011 to 2016, the teen birth rate in New Mexico for 15- to 19-year-olds has declined by 38.4%, to a rate of 29.8 per 1,000 in 2016. That rate of decline is higher than the national decline of 35.1% during the same time period (National Centers for Health Statistics, 2017). NM over the past few years has had one of the highest teen birth rates in the nation but is now ranked seventh highest in 2016 (NCHS, 2018). The female population ages 15-19 in New Mexico is 55.1% Hispanic, and among the teens giving birth, 81% were Hispanic (NM IBIS, 2017). Birth rates to NM teens 15-19 years by race/ethnicity, 2006-2016: Birth rates for American Indian teens decreased by 51.1% Birth rates for Hispanic teens decreased by 60% Birth rates for African American teens decreased by 49.7% Birth rates for White teens decreased by 42.6% Birth rates for all teens decreased by 54.1%

What Is Being Done?

Confidential reproductive health services are provided at low- or no-cost at county public health offices, statewide, and some community health centers and school-based health centers. NM DOH FPP also funds community education programs focusing on service learning and positive youth development, adult/teen communication, and comprehensive sex education. Service learning and positive youth development programs promote positive outcomes for teens by providing meaningful service to develop and practice life skills. Through community engagement and positive relationships, teens develop self-efficacy and adopt healthy behaviors enabling them to reach their full developmental potential. Wyman's Teen Outreach Program (TOP) is an evidence-based, nine-month, youth development program designed for youth ages 11-19. The curriculum allows for adaptable lessons based on maturity, level of understanding of a topic, and relevant events and issues affecting teens. TOP is based on three main components: Educational Peer Group Meetings, Positive Adult Guidance and Support, and Community Service Learning. These main components assist teens in achieving the three main goals of TOP: Life Skills, Healthy Behaviors, and a Sense of Purpose. In addition to these attributes, TOP has also seen evidence based behavioral outcomes in the form of a lower rates of school suspensions, course failures, and teen pregnancies. Project AIM (Adult Identity Mentoring) is an evidence based program designed specifically for youth ages 11-14. This six-week program promotes motivation for students to reduce risky behavior. Project AIM is based on the Theory of Possible Selves and Prevention vs. Promotion Motivation. Youth are encouraged to think about their "Future Selves" and how their choices can directly impact their future images, both positively and/or negatively. Youth in both TOP and Project AIM are encouraged to visit either a Public Health Office or School Based Health Center to learn about the services available for teens. Teens also have the opportunity to ask questions at the clinics, which fosters communication between the teens and staff. Other State Agencies that work with teen pregnancy prevention include: Office of School and Adolescent Health provides primary care and behavioral health care at School-Based Health Centers. Family planning services are provided where approved by the school district.

Evidence-based Practices

Confidential clinical family planning services including shared-decision making counseling, birth control and laboratory tests. Increased access to confidential, low- or no-cost family planning services through county public health offices, community clinics, and school-based health centers. Increased access to most- and moderately-effective contraceptive methods for teens, such as the hormonal implant, the IUD (intrauterine device), pill, injectable, and ring. Service-learning and positive youth development programs, adult-teen communication programs. Telemedicine services to increase access to birth control for high-risk populations in areas with clinician shortages.

Healthy People Objective FP-8:

Reduce pregnancy rates among adolescent females
U.S. Target: Not applicable, see subobjectives in this category

Data Sources

Birth Certificate Data, Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS), New Mexico Department of Health.   New Mexico Population Estimates: University of New Mexico, Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) Program,   Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC WONDER Online Database (  

Measure Description for Teen Birth Rate

Definition: Teen Birth Rate is the number of births to females in the age group per 1,000 of the age group female population.
Numerator: The number of births to females in the age group per year.
Denominator: The population of females in the age group per year.

Indicator Profile Report

Teen Birth Rate for Girls Age 15-19 (exits this report)

Date Content Last Updated

The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Thu, 29 July 2021 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Fri, 21 Jun 2019 11:52:53 MDT