Celebrating Successes in North Carolina
The number of North Carolinians getting pregnant has slowed in recent years, down 4.2%, but teens in particular are seeing a significant decrease. Pregnancies among those 19 and under have dropped more than 51%. Aug 15, 2022
In 2020, about 7,800 people aged 19 and younger got pregnant, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. That's a significant decrease from the number a decade prior, when more than 16,000 teens got pregnant. In 2020, there were more than 142,000 North Carolinians who got pregnant and fewer than 6 percent were teens. A decade ago, more than 10 percent of pregnancies were among those 19 and younger.
A small percentage - less than one percent- of those who get pregnant are 14 or younger. The state groups pregnancy data in age ranges. It shows that, in 2020, there were 106 pregnancies among girls 10 to 14, but none of those were in people aged 10 or 11. Among those 12 to 14 years old, 61 gave birth and one person’s baby passed away.
The state also tracks teens who have had repeated pregnancies. The most recent data shows about one out of every four people ages 15 to 19 who were pregnant in 2020 had been pregnant before. That's a percentage that has increased in recent years and is at its highest rate since 2013.
Teen childbearing is a matter of public health concern due to the elevated health risks for mothers and their infants and the social and economic costs in terms of health care, child welfare, and the potential loss of the mother’s educational and occupational opportunities,” from a 2020 report from Center of Disease Control.
There are well-documented links between adolescent childbearing and individual, family, and community characteristics. For example, adolescents who feel connected to and do well in school are less likely than are other adolescents to have children. At the family level, young people who feel connected to and supported by their families are less likely to have sex and become pregnant.
Celebrating Successes in the United States
Teen birth rates continued to fall throughout much of the U.S. in 2020, with 31 states posting declines that fueled an 8% drop nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The national teen birth rate of 15.4 births per 1,000 women and girls ages 15 to 19 marked another record low. Since 2009, the rate among teens has hit a new low each year, continuing a decades-long trend that has seen the overall rate drop by 75% since 1991.
By state, declines in teen birth rates in 2020 ranged from 5% in Pennsylvania and North Carolina to 19% in Montana. Maine was the only state to see an increase in its teen birth rate, which rose from 9.1 per 1,000 in 2019 to 10.6 per 1,000 in 2020.
The purpose of the “parent signature” requirement on homework assignments in the Reproductive Health and Safety Education class for students in grades 7th and 8th is to remind students that parents are the primary sexuality educators of their children, and the role of the school is to provide support. Reproductive Health and Safety Education is seen as a partnership between parents/guardians, schools, and the community. The curriculum shall encourage the involvement and acceptance of each. The role of the school is to supplement and assist in the education of the child, encouraging learning essential to the development of strong families, positive relationships, and a healthy community. Students are encouraged to discuss information received in the classroom with parents or guardians at home.
Parents, “it’s time to talk”. There are “Talk to Parent” communication homework assignments provided to students in grades 6-8 as an opportunity to “open the door to communicating”.