Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Hispanics and teen-births

Hispanics may cause a rise in teen-births:

The nation's fast-growing Hispanic teen population could end declining teen birthrates, says a researcher who calls for more Hispanic-oriented teen-pregnancy prevention programs.

The national teen birthrate, fueled by declines in all ethnic groups, dropped by 33 percent between 1991 and 2003. The latest rate is fewer than 42 births per 1,000 teens.

But Hispanic teens -- especially Mexicans and Puerto Ricans -- are maintaining relatively high pregnancy and birthrates, said Child Trends researcher Suzanne Ryan, co-author of a recent paper on Hispanic teens.

These factors, coupled with a projected 50 percent increase in the Hispanic teen population by 2025, means that Hispanic teens could "definitely ... slow down the decline in the national [birthrate]," Ms. Ryan said.

And, of course, the U.S. taxpayer will end up paying for these additional unwanted births.

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