Adolescent Birth Rate in California Continues to Decline

This week, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that California’s adolescent birth rate continues to decline. A new state report indicates a record low of 15.7 births per 1,000 females between ages 15 and 19. These numbers indicate an 11 percent decline between 2015 and 2016.

Between 2015 and 2016, the adolescent birth rate decreased among all racial and ethnic groups. Despite these declining rates, racial disparities persist in adolescent childbearing in California. African-American and Hispanic adolescents were found to be three to four times as likely to give birth as White adolescents. Hispanic females account for 75 percent of adolescent births and have the highest adolescent birth rate at 23.7.

CDPH attributes the declining rates to a number of factors, including improved access to reproductive health services and increased use of contraception, delayed first sexual intercourse, and public health prevention, education, and support programs. Additional birth rate data is available from CDPH here.