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Health Indicator Report of Teen Birth Rate

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,

Data Sources

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

Data Interpretation Issues

The teen birth rate includes live births to teen-aged mothers. It does not include all pregnancies, only those that resulted in a live birth.


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


The number of births to females in the age group per year.


The population of females in the age group per year.
Page Content Updated On 07/16/2018, Published on 01/24/2019
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, 05 August 2021 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Fri, 9 Feb 2018 13:15:26 MST