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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. 


58%¯ Teen Birth rates decreased 58% for 15-19 year olds from 65.0 in 1994 to 27.1 in 2018.


  • Teens who have a child before age 18 are even less likely to graduate; only 38 percent earn a diploma and another 19 percent get a GED.1

  • More than 40 percent of teen moms live in poverty within the first year of giving birth; by the time the child is three, the figure increases to 50 percent.1

  • Teen pregnancy and childbirth accounted for at least $9.4 billion in costs to U.S. taxpayers for increased health care and foster care, increased incarceration rates among children of teen parents, and lost tax revenue because of lower educational attainment and income among teen mothers.2

In Oklahoma:

  •  Four in ten (43%) high school students have ever 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 2017 birth rate for Oklahoma teens aged 15-19 years was 29.7 births per 1,000 females aged 15-19, significantly higher than the national average of 18.8. 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 Conference of State Legislatures.  (April 2015). Oklahoma Teen Pregnancy: Impact on Education and the Economy.  Retrieved from http://www.ncsl.org/documents/health/TPreOKEducation415.pdf.                                

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (May 2017). Teen Pregnancy in the United States. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/about/index.htm.

3Oklahoma State Department of Health, Maternal and Child Health Service. (2017). Oklahoma Youth Risk Behavior Survey: Sexual behaviors 2017 results.                                                                                       

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 Unpublished data.            

5Power to Decide: The Campaign to Prevent Unplanned Pregnancy. (2014, April). Counting it up: The public costs of teen childbearing in Oklahoma in 2010.  Retrieved from https://powertodecide.org/what-we-do/information/national-state-data/oklahoma.

6Martin JA, Hamilton BE, Osterman MJK, Driscoll AK, Drake P. Births: Final data for 2017. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 67 no 8. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2018.


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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