When you shop through links on our site, we may receive compensation. This educational content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.

30 Teenage Pregnancy Statistics & Facts: Latest Insights

Unravel the hidden truths and impacts of teenage pregnancy on young mothers, babies, families, and society.

Embarking on the teenage journey brings its unique challenges. In these transformative years, one topic that demands attention is teenage pregnancy.

While the media throws horror stories and stereotypes our way, we wanted to delve into the truth behind teenage pregnancy. This article offers 30 insightful teenage pregnancy statistics and facts, illuminating the actual risks, trends by year and country, and the impact on young mothers and their babies.

Join us as we delve into the truth behind teenage pregnancy, ensuring you are informed about the challenges and realities faced by adolescents in America and across the globe.

Key Facts About Teenage Pregnancy

Dive into these 5 essential teen pregnancy statistics and facts, offering a snapshot of its significant impact on young lives:

  1. The rate of teenage pregnancy in America in 2021 was 13.9 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19.
  2. Fourteen percent of adolescent girls worldwide gave birth before the age of 18.
  3. Teenage pregnancy is the second leading cause of death in girls aged 15 to 19.
  4. Thirty percent of girls who drop out of high school report pregnancy as a primary reason.
  5. Babies born to teenage mothers may experience a disruption in their social and emotional well-being.

30 Teenage Pregnancy Statistics and Facts

The definition of teenage pregnancy is pregnancy occurring in individuals under the age of 20.

It’s important to be aware of teenage pregnancy statistics to educate yourself and, eventually, play your role in supporting somebody who is facing this challenge. Below are 30 important facts about teen pregnancy across four topics.

Teen Pregnancy Rates by Year

Below is data to show trends and changes in teen pregnancy rates over time in the United States. We can see that the rate has dropped significantly since 1991. This decrease is mainly down to better access to birth control.

  1. 1991: In 1991, there were 61.8 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19 (1).
  2. 1995: In 1995, there were 56 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19.
  3. 2000: In 2000, there were 47.7 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19.
  4. 2005: In 2005, there were 39.7 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19.
  5. 2007: In 2007, there were 41.5 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19.
  6. 2012: In 2012, there were 29.4 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19.
  7. 2016: In 2016, there were 20.3 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19.
  8. 2021: In 2021, there were 13.9 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19.

Teen Pregnancy Rates by Country

How do teenage pregnancy rates vary by country? We’re going to look at seven countries and how prevalent teen pregnancy is in these locations.

  1. Global teen pregnancy rates: In 2021, 14 percent of adolescent girls gave birth before the age of 18 in the world (2).
  2. Teen pregnancy in Romania: In 2011, Romania had the highest rate of teenage pregnancy among 35 developed countries, with 61 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19 (3).
  3. Teen pregnancy in Canada: In 2022, the rate of teen pregnancy in Canada was 4.4 per 1,000 girls aged 15 to 19 (4). This had dropped from 10.4 in 2014.
  4. Teenage pregnancy in Mexico: In Mexico, the rate of teenage pregnancy is 97 people per 1,000 pregnancies in the poorer areas and 15 per 1,000 pregnancies in more affluent areas (5).
  5. Teenage pregnancy in England and Wales: The rate of teenage pregnancy in women under 18 in England and Wales is 13.2 per 1,000 women of the same age (6). In 2011, there were 30.9 conceptions per 1,000 women.
  6. Teen pregnancy rates in Korea: In 2021, the rate of teen pregnancy births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19 was two (7). This is a massive drop from 32 in 1960.
  7. Teen pregnancy in Australia: In 2021, women who gave birth under 20 accounted for 1.5 percent of all mothers (8). In 2011, the rate was 3.7 percent.

Risks and Complications of Teen Pregnancy

Getting pregnant during adolescence and underage years has many adverse effects on a girl’s education, health, and future. Below are eight risks and complications of teenage pregnancy.

  1. Leading cause of worldwide mortality: Teenage pregnancy is the second leading cause of mortality in girls aged 15 to 19, with seven people dying per 100,000 people. It is also a leading cause of disability-adjusted life years (the number of years of life lost from living with disability), with 507 girls affected per 100,000 people.
  2. Unsafe abortions: In 2019, there were 21 million pregnancies in girls aged 15 to 19 (9). Fifty-five percent of these pregnancies ended in abortion, which is often unsafe in low- and middle-income countries. An unsafe abortion can cause maternal deaths, physical and mental health complications, and financial burdens.
  3. Risk of poverty: Teenage pregnancy is linked to poverty (10). Low-income areas have higher teen birth rates. Teenage mothers also have low educational attainment, as staying in school or attending college is harder. Therefore, they aren’t as likely to get a well-paid job in the future.
  4. High school dropout: Thirty percent of girls who drop out of school claim pregnancy or parenthood as a main reason. The rate is 40 percent for Hispanic and Black teenagers. About 50 percent of women aged 20 to 29 who gave birth as a teen have a high school diploma, versus 90 percent of women of the same age who didn’t have a teenage birth.
  5. Mental health conditions: Teenage mothers experience various mental health challenges after giving birth, including baby blues, depression, and postpartum depression (11). Teen moms are twice as likely to suffer postpartum depression than adult mothers.
  6. Not enough prenatal care: Teenage mothers may not get the proper prenatal care, especially if the pregnancy is unplanned. This can increase the risk of miscarriage, health complications with the baby, and health complications with the mother.
  7. Single parenting: The vast majority of teenage mothers who get pregnant are unmarried. In 1955, the rate of 18 and 19-year-olds who got pregnant and were unmarried was about 10 percent. In 2020, the rate was almost 90 percent. Single motherhood brings various challenges, financially and emotionally.
  8. Substance use in teen moms: A 2014 study found that women who use substances have a higher rate of unintended teen pregnancy, especially those who use opioids (12). Among women participating in this study, binge drinking was linked to an increased risk of unplanned pregnancy. It also was predictive of both alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy, which can harm the fetus.

Statistics About Babies Born to Teenage Mothers

Babies born to teenage moms may face health challenges and developmental problems. Below are seven facts about babies born to teen moms.

  1. School dropout rate: Children born to teenage mothers have a higher chance of dropping out of their own education during school or have lower school achievement (13).
  2. Global effects on the baby: Babies born to teen moms are more likely to have low birth weight, be born prematurely, and have severe neonatal conditions.
  3. Social and emotional well-being: Teen parenthood is a significant risk factor in a child not developing well in early childhood (14). They are likely to experience a delay or disruption in their social and emotional well-being.
  4. Lacking certain skills: Children born to teen moms have more challenges with their cognitive, language, and social skills, including self-control and confidence.
  5. Harsh parenting: Babies born to teen moms are more likely to be victims of harsh parenting, including being spanked and yelled at. Teen parents will find it harder to handle crying and tantrums, especially since they themselves are still children.
  6. Lower Apgar scores: Babies born to teen moms are likelier to have a lower Apgar score, which is used to evaluate the heart rate, respiratory effort, irritability, color, and muscle tone of the baby (15). It is scored out of 10, with 10 being the best. Babies of teen moms are more likely to score seven or below within five minutes of birth compared to mothers aged 20 to 39.
  7. Higher rate of incarceration: Boys born to adolescent mothers are 2.7 times more likely to be incarcerated compared to sons of mothers who started a family in their early 20’s (16).

How To Prevent Teenage Pregnancy

Most teenage pregnancies are unplanned. Most people at 16 or 17 don’t aim to get pregnant. But that doesn’t mean they are not preventable.

Below are five measures society and young teens can take to prevent teen pregnancy:

  1. Sex education: Schools must provide comprehensive sex education to inform teenagers about their reproductive health, birth control options, and the consequences of risky sexual activity. They should also encourage honest conversations about relationships, consent, and sexual behavior.
  2. Access to birth control: Teenagers should have easy and affordable access to safe birth control of their choice, including condoms and long-acting reversible contraceptives.
  3. Conversations between parent and child: Parents should attempt open communication with their teenager about relationships, sexuality, and making responsible choices. Provide a judgment-free atmosphere to allow your teenager to feel comfortable discussing their worries and questions.
  4. Reproductive health visits: All teens should be offered reproductive health visits with their doctors and nurses. This appointment allows them to discuss sexual activity, birth control, information about sexually transmitted diseases, and dating violence.
  5. More support and programs: Teenage pregnancy rates vary by state. Areas where teen pregnancy is highest should have more federal government programs that offer support, education, and safe access to reproductive healthcare.


Why Is Teenage Pregnancy a Social Problem?

Teenage pregnancy is a social issue because it affects more than just the teen mom. It affects the baby, the father, the families of the pregnant couple, and even the healthcare system. Teenage pregnancy increases social and economic costs.

Teenage pregnancy also contributes to high school dropout rates, creating a generational cycle of low educational attainment in the family. When teenage parents cannot access good employment, there is an increased reliance on social welfare programs, which can cause economic strain in the broader community.

What Are the Consequences of Teenage Pregnancy?

The main consequence in the U.S. is the rate of dropping out of high school. About 30 percent of girls who drop out of high school claim pregnancy or parenthood as the main reason. Teenage mothers are also at risk of depression, being a single mom, financial hardships, and poverty.

Feedback: Was This Article Helpful?
Thank You For Your Feedback!
Thank You For Your Feedback!
What Did You Like?
What Went Wrong?
Headshot of Beth McCallum

About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a Scottish freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism and English literature. She is a mum to a young boy, and believes that it truly takes a village. When she’s not parenting, writing about parenting, or working, she can be found reading, working on her novel, taking photos, playing board games or wandering through the countryside with her family.