County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, A Healthier Nation, County by County

The County Health Rankings models and measures

Our Approach

The County Health Rankings model of population health

What can I do?

Action Center

Explore guides and tools for improving health

What can I learn from others?

Reports

Key findings from the last three years of County Health Rankings and other national reports.

County-by-County Blog

Project updates, commentaries, events and news about health across the nation from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps team.

Teen births

Teen Births are the number of births per 1,000 female population, ages 15-19.

Measure Tabs

Description

Reason for Ranking

Evidence suggests teen pregnancy significantly increases the risk of repeat pregnancy and of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI), both of which can result in adverse health outcomes for mothers, children, families, and communities. A systematic review of the sexual risk among pregnant and mothering teens concludes that pregnancy is a marker for current and future sexual risk behavior and adverse outcomes.[1] Pregnant teens are more likely than older women to receive late or no prenatal care, have gestational hypertension and anemia, and achieve poor maternal weight gain.[2] Teens are also more likely than older women to have a pre-term delivery and low birthweight baby, increasing the risk of child developmental delay, illness, and mortality.[3]

Measurement Strengths and Limitations

Teen birth rates are associated with unsafe sexual activity. Teen birth data are readily available and reliable for nearly all counties. The primary limitation of this measure is that it does not capture births among teens younger than 15. Though the incidence of teen births in this cohort is particularly low, births at such a young age are more likely to result in adverse health and socioeconomic outcomes. Teen births and teen pregnancy are distinct but related measures. Although all births are the culmination of a pregnancy, not all pregnancies culminate in a birth.

Explore the Data