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Teen pregnancy is closely linked to a number of critical social issues such as poverty, educational attainment, and increased health care costs.  Moreover, teen births affect the entire community (not just the teen parents); therefore, community-wide solutions are needed. 

In the U.S.:

  • 41% of mothers who gave birth before age 20 were living in poverty within the first year of their child's birth.1
  • 30% of teen girls who have dropped out of high school cite pregnancy as a key reason.1
  • Each year, teen childbearing costs the U.S. more than $9 billion.2

In Oklahoma:

  •  Nearly half (44%) of high school students have had sex.3
  •  Nearly 64% of Oklahoma teens that gave birth in 2012-2013 said that their pregnancy was unintended, while another 21% were not sure if they wanted a baby later, sooner, then, or at all.4
  • Teen childbearing costs an estimated $169 million to taxpayers.5

A report from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that the 2014 birth rate for Oklahoma teens aged 15-19 years was 38.5 births per 1,000 females aged 15-19, significantly higher than the national average of 24.2. However, Oklahoma’s teen birth rate is improving.6

Teens need to have access to medically accurate information in order to make responsible decisions for their future.  Evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention curricula are offered to schools in Oklahoma, Tulsa and 24 other counties with high teen birth rates.   

For information about teen pregnancy prevention efforts in Oklahoma, contact the OSDH Child and Adolescent Division at (405) 271-4471.



1The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.  (July 2012).  Why it matters: Teen childbearing, education, and economic wellbeing.  Retrieved from http://thenationalcampaign.org/resource/why-it-matters-teen-childbearing-education-and-economic-wellbeing                            

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. (2013, December). Counting it up: The public costs of teen childbearing.  Retrieved from http://thenationalcampaign.org/sites/default/files/resource-primary-download/counting-it-up-key-data-2013-update.pdf                                                                             

3Oklahoma State Department of Health, Maternal and Child Health Service. (2015). Oklahoma Youth Risk Behavior Survey: Sexual behaviors 2015 results.                                                                                              

4Oklahoma Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS). (2012-2013). Unpublished data.            

5The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. (2014, April). Counting it up: The public costs of teen childbearing in Oklahoma in 2010.  Retrieved from http://thenationalcampaign.org/sites/default/files/resource-primary-download/fact-sheet-oklahoma.pdf 

6Hamilton BE, Martin JA, Osterman MJK, et al. Births: Final data for 2014. National vital statistics reports; vol 64 no 12. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2015.

7Oklahoma State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics, Health Care Information, Vital Statistics 2014, on Oklahoma Statistics on Health Available for Everyone (OK2SHARE)

8The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. (2016). Parents. Retrieved from https://thenationalcampaign.org/featured-topics/parents.


Interesting Facts
Compared to other states in the nation, including the District of Columbia, Oklahoma ranked 2nd highest for teen birth rates for 15-19 year olds in 2014.

Approximately 13 teen girls give birth every day in Oklahoma.

Teens consistently say that parents-not peers, not popular culture, not partners-most influence their decisions about sex.

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