According to new statistics released by Chicago, there is a decline in the teen birth rate in the city although the number of teen pregnancies is still much higher than the national average.
The rate of teenagers having children declined 33 percent, according to a new report “Births in Chicago, 1999-2009.” It was noted by the report that the number of teen births is still 1.5 times higher than the national average, but that the decline is outpacing the national trend. In 2009, the teen birth rate per 1,000 females was 57, compared with 39 nationwide. This number was 85 per 1,000 in Chicago in the year 1999.
The report also indicated that 84 percent of women sought prenatal care during the first trimester of their pregnancies, an increase of 10 percent. Older women were also having more children, the report said. The report also found that the birth rates for women between the ages of 35 and 44 increased 40 percent. The Chicago Department of Public Health is working with Chicago Public Schools to further decrease teen pregnancy rates to pilot a new condom availability program, implement comprehensive sex education at all grade levels, and launch a city-wide public awareness campaign.