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Adolescent Parenthood

International Trends

Consistent with the trends in the United States, declines in pregnancy rates and birthrates to women Each year nearly 15 million babies are born to teenage women worldwide. PALMER/KANE, INC./CORBIS age fifteen to nineteen occurred in the majority of industrialized countries and in many developing countries (Singh and Darroch 2000). Among the more developed regions (i.e., Australia, New Zealand, Europe, North America, and Japan), the lowest adolescent birthrates (ten or fewer per 1,000) in 1995 were in ten countries, nine of which were western, northern, and southern European countries that experienced at least a 70 percent decline since 1970: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Japan experienced little change (12% drop) since 1970 and reported the lowest birthrate (3.9) in 1995. In contrast, birthrates increased substantially (35% or more) between 1970 and 1995 in seven countries—all were eastern European countries that also reported high birthrates (35 or more per 1,000) in 1995: Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Lithuania, Macedonia, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine. Still, the number of industrialized countries with high adolescent birthrates has fallen from twenty-nine countries in 1970 to twelve countries in 1995. Overall, the United States continues to have the highest premarital pregnancy rate and correspondingly one of the highest rates of births to young, unmarried women in the industrialized world.

Similar declining trends in birthrate among adolescents have occurred in many countries of developing regions (i.e., Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East), while little change has occurred in Latin America and the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa (Alan Guttmacher Institute 1996). For example, nearly 35 percent of young women in Latin America and the Caribbean, and an even higher proportion (50–60%) in most countries in sub-Saharan Africa have their first child before the age of twenty.

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Marriage and Family EncyclopediaPregnancy & ParenthoodAdolescent Parenthood - Trends In The United States, International Trends, Antecedents Of Adolescent Pregnancy, Adoption, Marriage, And Single Parenthood