Oklahoma had the fourth highest teen birth rate in the nation in 2010, according to a CDC study released today.
Oklahoma’s teen birth rate was 50.4 births per 1,000 females aged 15–19 years in 2010, according to the study.
Only Texas (52.2 births per 1,000 females), Arkansas (52.5 births/1,000), New Mexico (53 births/1,000) and Mississippi (55 births/1,000) ranked worse than Oklahoma.
However, although Oklahoma’s rate was still notably high, the state did see improvement.
Oklahoma saw a 14 percent decrease in the number of teens giving birth, with 6,496 births to 15- to 19-year-olds in 2010, versus 7,543 births to the age group in 2007. The state’s teen birth rate in 2007 was 58.5 births per 1,000 per 1,000 females aged 15–19 years.
From 2007 to 2010, rates decreased significantly nationwide in all but three states (Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia). Decreases in 16 states ranged from 20 percent to 30 percent.
Teenagers who give birth are much more likely than older women to deliver a low birth weight or preterm infant, and their babies are at higher risk for dying in infancy, according to the CDC.
Here’s a quick visual of the data released today: