Chicago says teen birth rates in city continue to fall

May 28, 2017 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago’s Department of Public Health says births by teenagers in the city are at historic lows.

An agency statement Sunday says there have been eight consecutive years of declines.

The most recently available data is from 2014, when there were 32 births per 1,000 females between 15 and 19 — a more than a 62 percent drop from a 85.2 rate in 1999.

The rate is higher than the national average — which is 22.2 births per 1,000. But Mayor Rahm Emanuel calls Chicago’s falling rate “an important step in the right direction.”

Officials partly credited a sexual-health curriculum in schools.

Studies indicate that only around 38 percent of teenage mothers earn a high school diploma. Their children are less likely to finish high school than children of older mothers.