Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hispanics outstrip all other ethnic groups in teen birth

Megha Satyanarayana:

Latina teens outstrip all other ethnic groups in teen birth, according to the Population Resource Center, a Washington, D.C.-based public policy group that studies the demographic makeup of the United States.

Because teen mothers and their children face so many educational, financial and social hurdles, the situation becomes more pressing with their prediction that in a decade nearly 20 percent of all teenagers in the United States will be Latinos.

Religious disapproval of abortion, coupled with extensive family support in caring for children, they said, fuels the high birth rate.

Early marriage also is a factor, said Carol Browner, a UCLA medical anthropologist who studies Mexican family structure. In rural Mexico, marriage and childbearing often start in late adolescence, she said. Simply crossing a border does not erase tradition.

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