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Presentation on theme: " By The Numbers: The Public Costs of Teen Childbearing."— Presentation transcript:

1 By The Numbers: The Public Costs of Teen Childbearing

2 2 This Presentation Will Cover: Why Care? The Costs of Teen Childbearing

3 Why Care?

4 4 Weve Made Progress National Teen Pregnancy Rates, 1972-2002 (number of pregnancies per 1,000 girls aged 15-19) After increasing 23 percent between 1972 and 1990 (including 10 percent between 1987 and 1990), the teen pregnancy rate for girls (15-19) decreased 36 percent between 1990 and 2002 to a record low. The Alan Guttmacher Institute. (2006). U.S. Teenage Pregnancy Statistics National and State Trends and Trends by Race and Ethnicity. New York, NY: The Alan Guttmacher Institute.

5 5 More to Feel Good About National Teen Birth Rates, 1940-2005 (number of births per 1,000 girls aged 15-19) From 1940 to 1957, the teen birth rate increased 78% to a record high. The birth rate dropped fairly steadily from the end of the 1950s through the mid-1980s, but then increased 23% between 1986 and 1991. Between 1991 and 2005*, the teen birth rate decreased 35% to a record low of 40.4 in 2005. *Data for 2005 are preliminary. Ventura, S.J., Mathews, T.J, & Hamilton, B.E. (2001). Births to Teenagers in the United States: 1940-2000. National Vital Statistics Reports, 49(10).; Hamilton, B.E., Martin, J.A., & Ventura, S.J. (2006). Preliminary Data for 2005. Health E-Stats. Released November 21, 2006.

6 6 But There is More Work to Do One in three teens becomes pregnant by age 20. One-quarter of teen parents have a second child before they turn 20. Higher teen pregnancy and birth rates than comparable countries. Recent data show declines in teen birth rates are slowing.

7 7 Teen Pregnancys Link to Poverty and Other Social Issues What are the chances of a child growing up in poverty if his/her mother: (1) gave birth as a teen, (2) was unmarried when the child was born, and (3) did not receive a high school diploma or GED? 27% if one of these things happen. 42% if two of these things happen. 64% if three of these things happen. If none of these things happen, a childs chance of growing up in poverty is 7%. A child born to a teen mother who has not finished high school and is not married is nine times more likely to be poor than a child born to an adult who has finished high school and is married. Source: Why It Matters, National Campaign

8 8 Consequences of Teen Pregnancy Only 40% of young teen mothers graduate from high school. Teen fathers earn less than older fathers (20-21). Compared to children born to older mothers (20-21 years old), children born to teen moms are more likely to: to drop out of high school. to use Medicaid and SCHIP. to experience abuse/neglect. to enter the foster care system. to end up in prison (sons).

9 The Costs of Teen Childbearing

10 10 Why We Did This Analysis A classic example of offering many ways to see the importance of teen pregnancy: human face effect on mother effect on child poverty, welfare dependence, etc. taxpayer cost

11 11 An Overview By The Numbers: The Public Costs of Teen Childbearing Project goal: Measure the costs that could be averted if teen mothers, 19 and younger, delay their first birth to 20-21 years old. What is the impact on the young mother and her childs subsequent life outcomes and what does this cost taxpayers? Both national and state-specific cost estimates have been measured.

12 12 Costs Included in the Analysis Costs linked to teen moms Public assistance Lost tax revenue Costs linked to the children of teen parents Lost tax revenue Public Health Care Incarceration of sons Child welfare Costs linked to teen fathers Lost tax revenue

13 13 National Findings Teen childbearing costs taxpayers at least $9.1 billion annually. Total cost breakdown is $8.6 billion for 17 and younger and $0.5 billion for 18-19 year olds. Average annual public sector cost associated with a child born to a mother aged 17 and younger is $4,080.

14 14 National Findings Most of the costs of teen childbearing are associated with negative consequences for the children of teen mothers and include: $1.9 billion for increased public sector health care costs $2.3 billion for increased child welfare costs $2.1 billion for increased costs for state prison systems (among adult sons of teen mothers) $2.9 billion in lost tax revenue due to lower taxes paid by the children of teen mothers over their own adult lifetimes.

15 15 National Findings: Cumulative Costs and Savings Between 1991 and 2004, there have been more than 6.7 million teen births in the US. This cost taxpayers a total of $161 billion between 1991 and 2004. The one-third decline in the teen birth rate between 1991 and 2004 yielded substantial cost savings. Taxpayers saved $6.7 billion in 2004 alone.

16 16 There were approximately 6.8 million teen births in the United States between 1991 and 2004. The estimated cumulative public costs of teen childbearing during this time period are $161 billion. National Findings: Cumulative Costs and Savings

17 17 Costs for the Children of Teen Mothers Children of teen mothers are more likely to: Have decreased educational attainment Earn less money Suffer high rates of child abuse and neglect Grow up poor Live in single-parent households Enter the child-welfare system Become teen mothers themselves

18 18 Cumulative Costs and Savings For more information:

19 19 What Can You Do? Recognize the problem isnt solved. Help parents. Support proven teen pregnancy interventions. Support youth programs more broadly. Set a goal.

20 20 Thank You! Please visit our website at

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