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Indicator Report - Teen Birth Rate

Why Is This Important?

Factors in New Mexico's high teen pregnancy rates are poverty, education, rural vs. urban population and access to services.

In 2011, New Mexico ranked 2nd in percentage of children living in poverty, one of the most important contributing factors to teenage pregnancy.

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 2011 was 37%, compared to 22% nationally.

Teen parenthood is most common in rural areas.

There is a lack of access to family planning services with all but one of NM counties classified as a health professional shortage area.



Teen Birth Rate - Girls Age 15-17, by County 2008-2012

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Quartile Map of Teen (Age 15-17) Births by County, New Mexico, 2008-2012

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A "Quartile" map assigns areas to four groups. Each group includes the SAME NUMBER of areas. Group membership and map color are based on the rank order of area rates, from the lowest rate to the highest. The bottom 25% (bottom quartile) of areas has the lowest rates, the next 25% has the second lowest rates, the next 25% has the second highest rates and the top 25% of areas has the highest rates. Areas with the darkest color have the highest rates. Percentile maps such as this assign areas to different groups regardless of how close the rates actually are. In other words, just because two areas are in different groups doesn't necessarily mean that their rates are significantly different. For small area background information and reference maps, please visit:

Data Notes

U.S. data are for 2010.

Data Sources

  • Birth Certificate Data, Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS), New Mexico Department of Health.
  • National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) public use data file.

Other Views


Teen Birth Rate is the number of births to females in the age group per 1,000 of the age group female population.

How We Calculated the Rates

Numerator: The number of births to females in the age group per year.
Denominator: The population of females in the age group per year.

Page Content Updated On 10/10/2013, Published on 10/10/2013
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, 24 April 2014 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Sun, 13 Oct 2013 17:44:08 MDT