U.S. teen pregnancy drops sharply; child impregnation most popular in Bible Belt

Richard Florida on this fascinating map, produced by the Centers for Disease Control:

There is good news: teen births are at their lowest level in more than 60 years (10 percent lower than 2009, 43 percent below their peak in 1970). But the geographic variation is substantial. Teen birthrates are highest in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, and New Mexico,. There are slightly lower concentrations in the neighboring states of Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Arizona. New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts have the lowest rates of teen births.

The full CDC report details drops in most states (excepting North Dakota, West Virginia and Montana), with the sharpest drops in Nevada, Arizona, California, Florida and Rhode Island. Elsewhere the impregnations continue apace, with Kansas, Michigan and Arkansas posting less dramatic declines.

The teen pregnancy rate is highest in Mississipi and lowest in New Hampshire, the CDC said.

What will stop Conservative America's progeny from having so much hot, wild, bareback sex?

U.S. Teen Birthrates Are Down, But Still High in These States [The Atlantic]


  1. I’m pretty sure the source of the problem lies just below the belt.

    (P.S.: That was a genitalia joke, not a Mexican joke)

    1.  Speaking of problems, I can’t help but be amused by the fact that statistics about the reproduction of human beings is being done by the center for disease control.

      1. I would imagine the there is a positive coloration between teen pregnancies and new instances of diseases like HPV or the herps.  It would be somewhat easier to get someone to cop to having a kid than having warts all over their junk. 

        1. Yeah, but come on…

          What’s the most common sexually-transmitted disease?

          Also, I would find your dilemma a tough call; you can always get a wart cut off, I suppose…

          1. Chlamydia?

            -abs is pretty sure he’s right about the disease, he’s less sure about the spelling of it

  2. You would need to compare with statistics for abortion. I would imagine that there is a correlation between being religious and being anti-abortion which would result in more teenage births

    1. Actually, no. The correlation is between being religious and being anti-choice for OTHERS.  Religious people have abortions too, and then they go right back to fighting against anyone else’s right to do so.

      1. There seem to be a number of issues at work here, I doubt the only defining factors in the regions are religious and hypocritical vs. free thinking.

      2. It’s quite common for defenders of traditional values to be caught in extramarital affairs or popping pills of dubious legality. For some reason, such scandals appear to be much rarer for abortions. (There were only two instances here and I’m sure they were thorough.) Maybe the uptight reactionaries really do take abortion more seriously than mere vices.

        A corollary to the above: You can’t blame the pro-life movement on hatred of pleasure.

        I’ve also noticed the pro-choice people using anecdotes of pro-life activists having abortions. For some reason, such anecdotes rarely have any backing, unlike other sins.

        1.  Maybe because most abortions these days are performed by actual physicians patient confidentiality applies and so it’s less likely to get out ?

    2. abortion rates among 15-19 yr. olds in NH are comparable to the bible belt states; rates are higher in VT and CT, but it only accounts for about half of the total difference in live births. and outside the northeast, the abortion rates are pretty much directly comparable. your theory is inadequate.

      1. There are a lot of confounding issues here, poverty, race, and you may be right that it doesn’t correlate with belief in abortion or not, but I don’t think there is enough evidence to tie the difference back to religious belief either

        1. i agree, weakly. there are definitely confounding factors, but abstinence-only education certainly seems to be a reasonable explanation. at any rate, abortion doesn’t explain it all; NH has a lowish abortion rate and low birth rate, while NY has a very high abortion rate but also higher birth rate than NH. the difference between NY and NH is probably due to stratified populations (i.e. poverty, race, &c.).

          1. NY is a very unusual case, for reasons that reflect its own demographics only in the peripheral sense that its people and legislators have maintained the laws on the books:

            State law on abortion is quite liberal(no parental consent required for late-minor children, none of that waiting period/tearjerker misinformation/etc. stuff, available relatively late term, by national standards). New York city is also a dense, fairly anonymous, metropolis that is (comparatively) easy and cheap to get to from much of the eastern US.

            Result: The abortions wanted by residents of other states in the general vicinity; but unavailable either by law or by social or economic limitation, tend to happen in NY instead.

            To the best of my knowledge, NY residents behave pretty much the same way, with respect to their demographics, as everybody else; but they also serve a major refugee population.

        2. Well, you started this all off by saying, “I would imagine that there is a correlation between being religious and being anti-abortion.”  Changing your mind?

          1. There are stats available which imply that evangelical christians have significantly lower abortion rates than other religions. Perhaps I should have qualified the religion I was referring to, but assumed it was a given from the headline referring to the bible belt

    3. Anti-abortion has nothing to do with it. Teen pregnancy is teen pregnancy regardless of abortion.

      Classic example that people who are FORCED to do something will do the exact opposite… especially children.

      Edit: NVM, this the map talks about teen birth, not just teen pregnancy.

    4. Women identifying themselves as Protestants obtain 37.4% of all abortions in the U.S.; Catholic women account for 31.3%, Jewish women account for 1.3%, and women with no religious affiliation obtain 23.7% of all abortions. 18% of all abortions are performed on women who identify themselves as “Born-again/Evangelical”.

      Edit: was going to link to source at http://www.abortionno(dot)org/Resources/fastfacts.html, but it evilly redirects you to their home page where an anti-abortion video starts playing automatically. Sigh. Follow the link at your discretion.

    5. Previous reports have said that “Variations in teenage birth rates reflect differences in many factors, including differences in socioeconomic factors such as education and income, risk behaviors such as sexual activity and contraceptive use, and attitudes among teenagers toward pregnancy and childbearing.”

    6. In 2008, the rate of abortions in Mississippi was 4.6 per thousand women. In NH it was 12.3. That difference can’t explain a teenage birth rate of only 15.7 per thousand in New Hampshire and 55.0 in Mississippi.

        1. No, I’m picking the state with the lowest teen birth rate and the state with the highest teen birth rate. To back up your assertion that this is “cherrypicking” (selectively choosing results to suit a particular argument) please do a full statistical analysis yourself. I eagerly await the results. You’ll find the stats on abortions here: http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0103.pdf

          1. Grist for your mills. 

            Census data from 2000,2005,2008 showing significant negative linear regressions between recorded abortion rate (N per 1000 women) and teen birth rate (% of total births to women < 20 years old) by US state (N=50).
              All three years are significant – where there are lots of abortions, there are fewer teen births. Where lots of teen births, fewer abortions.
              Remember: it's not casuality. It's not explaining anywhere near everything (the correlation explains 9-10% of the variation). AND The correlation is not very robust: if you include DC (I did not), where both abortions and teen births are crazy high (relatively speaking), only 2008 still shows significance (p<0.05).


          2. relax: you’re regressing a proportion to a total; this should raise a flag immediately. you’re inviting confounding effects to undetectably undermine you. for example, increased birth and abortion rates in 20-35 year-olds (a quite reasonable scenario) will easily cause the effect you observe; the abortions will raise X, while the births will decrease the _percentage_ of births by <20 year-olds, Y. do you see what i'm saying? just because correlations "aren't" causation, doesn't mean you shouldn't try to do a reasonable job at it.

    1. Not true, as twin births are on the rise and the people having them are older, intelligent, less-religious Northerners.

    2.  The poor tend to be religious. So it’s a little ironic that they support the Party of the Rich. But then again, who could have predicted the Party of Lincoln would ever be big in the South? American politics is a strange beast indeed.

      1. Ironic it may be, but it’s hardly surprising when the rich are allowed carte blanche to engineer society to serve their wants.

        It goes on all over, but the version currently destroying western democracies seems to have emanated from the US, from places like think tanks and the CSE and so on. Closer to the topic at hand, even those demented Evangelists are getting a toe-hold in my country.

        IMO, it’s the main driver of anti-US sentiment in places where their military isn’t creating it.

      2. Except not really.  The (white) middle class is quite a bit more religious than the (white) poor.  (See Charles Murray)  And in the conservative states, the poor definitely vote Democratic more often the middle class and rich, who are more likely to vote Republican. (See Andrew Gelman’s research.)  Actually, in all states the wealthier one is, the more likely one votes Republican.

        The difference is that in the conservative states, the middle class votes Republican and is religious (and the upper class extremely so), whereas in the liberal states the slope of the line is lower and the middle class votes Democratic and is less religious than the middle class in conservative states.

        There’s a lot of Simpson’s Paradox going on when you compare states.

    3. Actually, the polls on religious identification have been very heartening.  As fast as they breed, fundies also seem to work very hard at alienating their children.  Doesn’t matter how fast they breed if all their 18 years olds are dropping church and making a break for the big city.

      1. Well, considering the line I do come from, the fact that we breed like flies, and that I’m the only irreligious one of my Grandmother’s 65 descendants,

        for the most part, yes; they do breed true. Just not the Atheist part.

        1. Non-religious family. Four people in my generation on both sides of the family, one in the next. And everybody except that one is past breeding age.

    4. I’d agree, but my experience says about half their kids go atheist and reject those teachings in the long run.

    1. Why jump straight to abortion?  Access to education and contraception are a major part of the equation.

      You might be interested to know that European countries have much lower rates of teen pregnancies AND abortions than the US does.

      1. I agree with both you and John. Access to education and contraception are a major part of the equation, but since this particular infographic represents only “births” rather than “pregnancies” it’s impossible to conclude just how big a part of the equation they are from this chart alone.

        Other stats support the “it’s much more about contraception than abortion” theory, though.

  3. It’s all the fault of the liberal media, which creates a culture of lust of permissiveness.

    1. Those licentious liberals, I tell ya! Oh and I saw a good bumper sticker the other day. It said,
      “The facts are biased against the right.”

      1. Mm hmm. 
        And last week i read on the bumper in front of me, “Reality has a liberal bias.”

    2. What we’ll say: “Looks like pushing abstinence and suppressing contraception info has failed”

      What they’ll say: “Clearly we aren’t pushing abstinence and suppressing contraception enough.”

        1. Unwanted pregnancies are obviously the result of gay panic.  Young gentlemen, having been terrified by The Gay, naturally retreat rapidly and unprotectedly to the nearest vulva.

  4. No mention of wed/unwed teens–just an apparent assumption that they are all single. The study isn’t much use without that factoid.

    1.  Why would that matter… they’re still teens. And it never said anything about marital status, there is no need.

    2. we can infer (from law and from custom) that anyone getting married at 15-17 is probably pregnant already, so i don’t think we should count those. this leaves 18-19 which is 40% of the sample and the marriage rate there is, what, 20% tops? that’s 8%, which is dwarfed by the interstate differences anyway. yawn.

    3. I have similar suspicions based on the following heuristic:

      1) Figure out what Joe Bloggs (an average reader) would conclude from the report. If the report was strongly stated, it was probably either written by an activist who was trying to get people to believe that conclusion or by someone who based it on the activists’ press releases. (In this case, Joe Bloggs would conclude that born-again Christians are giving birth out of wedlock.)2) Determine the strongest potential piece of evidence that would point in the same direction. If that evidence were true, the report would have mentioned it. (In this case, it would be reports of illegitimate birth rates.)3) In the absence of such evidence being mentioned, conclude that it doesn’t exist.

      (The above heuristic will also enable you to conclude that if a food is labeled “cholesterol-free,” it is probably high in fat unless the label says otherwise.)

    1.  Wow, no kidding, look how close those two maps are. The biggest difference is where they decided to put Alaska.

      1.  Wow – thanks for posting this. I was wondering how the poverty map would look – I expected some correlation, but these two are incredibly close. So maybe the real story is the close correlation between poverty and religion?

        1. It appears that Utah is the only state where religion doesn’t affect education or out-of-wedlock births. Weird.

  5. Hahaha, they feed their kids all this wrong-headed culture about sex and it has exactly the opposite of the desired effect. It’s pretty funny. They’re kind of trolling themselves. I have to wonder what it must be like to be an abstinence only sex educator or someone who wants to deny teens access to contraceptives. What do they think when they read an article like this? I suppose they just dismiss it as “liberal media propaganda” and then get back to the righteous task of keeping kids ignorant. What a world. 

    1. The combination of abstinence only and anti-contraception is a bad one, given that one of those two ideas is going to be really quite a lot easier to sell to horny adolescents. From the article. . .

      “religious communities in the U.S. are more successful in discouraging the use of contraception among their teenagers than they are in discouraging sexual intercourse itself.” 

    2.  You’re assuming the goal of abstinence-only sex education is to actually reduce teen pregnancy.  It’s not.  The goal is to prevent women from having the information they need to make their own choices about reproductive rights.  The high teen pregnancy rates are actually an indicator that the program has been spectacularly successful from the point of view of those lobbying for it.

      1. I imagine there’s some way of expressing that without making the people involved sound like malevolent, Snidely Whiplash mustachio twirling villains.

        Generally speaking, most people are trying to do what they think is right, and live a good life. In the case of certain religions, this would include following what they believe to be God’s wishes, rather than making their own determinations about what’s best.  And yes, that does actually mean that their ideal is for no one to make their own reproductive choices, because God already made the call on that one.

        Harm reduction doesn’t jive well with a world view that’s framed around moral absolutes and Divine will – teaching people to sin with fewer consequences is a hard one to sell.

        But, I really feel that comments like this one don’t foster dialog or communication or anything else that might be positive.  They create a combative atmosphere, and drive away those people who could possibly be brought around to a compromise. 

        1. I imagine there’s some way of expressing that without making the people involved sound like malevolent, Snidely Whiplash mustachio twirling villains.

          Please show which part of my post says or implies this.  I think this is all your interpretation and none of it is actually in my post. All my post did is to point out that the outcome that secularists see as a failure is actually a success from the point of view of the people pushing for these policies. It was intentionally value-neutral.

          But, I really feel that comments like this one don’t foster dialog or communication or anything else that might be positive.  They create a combative atmosphere, and drive away those people who could possibly be brought around to a compromise.

          Well no fucking duh.  My moral values are just about completely antithetical to those of the people I’m talking about.  What is there to compromise about?

          1. I don’t think the people pushing the policies see high teen pregnancy rates as a success – pregnancy is rather conspicuously a failure of abstinence.  Success would be if people actually abstained.
            As for compromise, I see what’s happening in the Catholic church, and I like to imagine that other religions might experience similar shifts.  The pope has said that there are some cases where condoms might be okay to prevent the spread of HIV.  

            There are catholic organizations that have come out in support of birth control

            Maybe someday the bible belt will follow, and contraception might be taught alongside abstinence.  That’s my hope anyway

          2. Doesn’t Italy have the world’s lowest birthrate? Clearly some Catholics are very much in favor of birth control. Just not the ones with the tiara.

        2. Personally,  I don’t see honest thinking centered around how to live their own lives.  There are individual exceptions, of course, but in the national public sphere I don’t see much thoughtful inquiry at all by religious fundamentalists.

          What I see is a lot of people who DON’T really believe in an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent god….instead, they worship an anthropomorphic idol who just happens to be in their own (psychological) image.  As such, they seem to me to be overly fixated on punishing anyone – but especially women – who don’t conform to their judgments on how the world should be.

          I’d love to believe that I shouldn’t ascribe to malice what can be adequately explained by ignorance, but I’ve seen too much hatred and violence to trust a single word said by anyone who uses their religion as a bludgeon against others.

        3. Remind me again why I should have to compromise with people who want to take away my rights due to their religious beliefs?

        4. Does an antivirus program attempt to foster positive communication with a bit of rampaging malware?

          Garbage in, garbage out. You can’t reason with people who refuse to use it.

          The only thing that stands a chance is some sort of utilitarian, empirically-honed propaganda campaign. In other words, take the mustachio-twirling approach of saying whatever it takes.

          Lacking any such, I see no point in including fundies in the conversation.

          1. The reason to include them is because they are who this conversation is about.  The kids who are having kids in the bible belt aren’t utilitarian liberal atheist humanists who took a wrong turn at Broadway and accidentally wandered into Oklahoma.

            I absolutely agree that a utilitarian, empirically-honed propaganda campaign would be an excellent approach.  That’s precisely why it’s worth using respect, tact, and understanding when you’re approaching people with whom you strongly disagree – because hearts and minds are rarely won in a conversation that starts with telling people that they’re ignorant assholes who just want to keep their women-folk barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. (i.e. “high teen pregnancy rates are actually an indicator that the program has been spectacularly successful”).

            I worry when I see a siege mentality coming out.  I used to be pretty religious, and a major part of what helped me to get away from that was meeting and becoming friends with non-religious people who were able to express and defend their views without being insulting.  A great way to encourage people to remain strongly religious is for the people who don’t  share their beliefs to tell them how stupid their faith is.

  6. Terrible article only written to hook people with the title.  The title says teen pregnancy drops when the data shows teen birth.

    Of course states that favor abortion are going to have lower birth rates.  This article shows nothing at all.

    1. Or maybe states that “favor” contraception have fewer abortions and fewer teen birth rates.

      From TFA:
      “The 2009 study posited that attitudes toward contraception play a significant role, noting that “religious communities in the U.S. are more successful in discouraging the use of contraception among their teenagers than they are in discouraging sexual intercourse itself.”

    2. I don’t think there is an “of course” unless you show that the abortion rates are indeed higher among teens where the birth rate is lower. One could equally well say that “of course states that favor contraception education are going to have lower birth rates” as that is the case with my country… teen parents are almost unheard of (well, < 18 years of age) and abortion rates for teens are also lower than US rates.

      But yes, the title is misleading.

      1. Thank you for the comment as I did use poor wording.  However logical it is, it is not  an “of course”.  That said, the numbers do follow logic.  And my entire point was simply that this is nothing more than a fluff misleading article to drive traffic.


        Those numbers are old but I don’t have time to make a graph of all the current numbers.  However, you can look through the numbers here:


        and see it is still a typical trend that blue states have higher abortion rates.

    3. “Of course states that favor abortion are going to have lower birth rates.”

      How so? I know it just ‘feels’ obvious to you, but have a go at presenting some evidence. Your gut is non admissible.

      1. See above comment.  And it isn’t gut it is simple logic.  However, yes the logical explanation is not always the correct one.  So thank you for challenging my statement.

  7. The article talks about the current teen birth rate, not the teen birth rate change.  So, there doesn’t seem to be anything to support the title.   The teen birth rate may have actually dropped sharply in the Bible Belt as well, but is still high.

  8. Do any of you realize how much mileage this will get among Conservative communities when it’s pointed out that the study was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control? Babies are Jesus’ little blessings, they ain’t a disease yuh damn moran liberals! Or something.

  9. People are making claims without reading the material. Rates from 2009 are being compared to more recent rates. The 2009 study, and likely the later one from the same source, adjusted for increased abortion rates in some states.

  10. That’s not the chart you’re looking for!

    The chart showing DROPS in birth rate is on Page 4 of the PDF at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db89.pdf

    Teen pregnancy dropped in every state except Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia. “Bible Belt” states like Mississippi saw drops of greater than 20% between 2007 and 2010.

    1. And it’s also grown to many times its original size. Soon it will drift from shore to shore destroying everything wherever it lands.

    1. Yea, since the schools in the bible belt aren’t dispensing contraseptives in school. They should start putting Aspirin dispensers in the bathrooms, and I bet the teenage pregnancy rate would drop to almost zero!

      Man, I’m smart… I need my own radio program!

  11. Not to be a wet blanket – by all means continue on with the smug oversimplifications – but actually rates went down in at least some parts of the south, too, just not as much as elsewhere. 

    1. The first thing the piece says is “There is good news: teen births are at their lowest level in more than 60 years”

      1. That can’t be right, it would imply that today’s teens aren’t the irresponsible whippersnappers that we’ve been led to believe. If there’s one thing that TV news teaches us it’s that the youth of today are nothing but a bunch of drug-using, gun-toting, promiscuous ne’er-do-wells who pose a danger to society in general and my lawn in particular.

    2. So you’re saying abstinence-only sex ed works?  Or would that be a “smug oversimplification” of your comment?

        1. He was smugly accusing others of being smug.  I was hoping adding a third level of smugness would allow us to accomplish smug inception.

    3. “- by all means continue on with the smug oversimplifications -”

      you know, it doesn’t help to smugly tell someone they’re smug. :P

  12. The dominant religious views in those states isn’t the only thing they have in common.  There may be other factors at work to cause the higher teen birth rate,too.  Some of those states are poorer than others.  Some of those states are the lowest ranking in education.  Some of the root of the problem might be religion related, but I’m not too quick to jump on the idea that it’s just the Bible Belt factor.  Correlation does not equal causation.

    1. Some people might point out that there is a relationship between religious fundamentalism in America and things like education and being poor.  Also voting Republican.

    2. I tend to consider the “Bible Belt factor” as being about all the trends that distinguish the bible belt from the rest of the country — not just bibles, but, yes, education levels, poverty, etc etc.

  13. All I know is that teenagers making out in public is gross! Teenagers are gross in general, but add in akward amourous imbraces and my lunch leaves via vomit!

  14. Well, if we know one thing, we know that the conservatives that make policies in The Bible Belt stop caring about the precious lives these children are giving birth to the second they pop out of the womb.

  15. The map should have used different colors: pink states and blue states to reflect the color of the EPT plus results. “Oh mah gosh it’s paaank!”

  16. Q: What will stop Conservative America’s progeny from having so much hot, wild, bareback sex?


    1. Parts of eastern and south-eastern NM are Bible Belty. Smaller towns such as Alamogordo are ultrabiblical, for example; larger ones such as Roswell not so much.

    2. Yeah, somewhere around there people stop having Jesus complexes and start having Joseph Smith complexes. Different book, same story. 

  17. I live in AR.  There is some teen pregnancy that could probably be prevented with things that religious conservatives aren’t quick to get behind like better access to birth control, better sex education, etc.   But there are other factors in my state,too, that could be part of the problem.  Like that so many families are uninsured and many are poor, so birth control (especially prescription methods) doesn’t necessarily make the budget. Also, in many communities, especially rural ones (and we have plenty of those), there’s not a whole lot of exciting recreational  activities for teens to engage in, so they end up doing a lot of drinking and having sex to keep themselves amused. 

    Plus, things like what the outlook for the girl’s future is or is perceived to be matters,too.  When you live in a place where it’s just expected that you’ll be going to college right after high school and having the career of your choice, you’re probably more likely to make sure you don’t have a baby before you finish high school than if you see yourself as going to graduate and go to work in an unskilled job.  If you don’t see a baby as something that’s going to derail your dreams entirely,  it just means that you’ll be taking that job waiting tables or working at the supermarket a couple of years early,you are less likely to work as hard to prevent one. 

    And it couldn’t help that the area is a little behind as far as being generationally separated from teen birth goes.  I’m in my early 30’s and my mom was 15 when I was born.  Many many teenagers are the children of teen mothers.  It’s much harder for moms to push against getting pregnant and getting married and working and living a middle class hard knock kind of life when they did it themselves.  It’s harder for teens to be afraid of or look down on becoming a teen mom when their own mom had them very young. In areas where the trend of waiting to become a mom has been booming for longer, more teen girls are further removed from the attitudes and lifestyle of starting a family young.  If mom waited till she was out of college to have you, it seems more normal for you to do the same. 

    1. The fact that rural states in the north like Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Maine, and rural areas of states like New York and California don’t have these issues to the extent that the South/Appalachia does, goes a long way to showing that you’re wrong about the causes of this stuff.

      1. The rural nature of the states in question is one of multiple factors cited redstarr’s post. The others may not apply in the mostly rural states you listed. It is my experience that the culture of South Dakota is rather different from that of Arkansas.

    1. *Super-pedantic powers activate!*

      The above map refers to teens who gave birth (including 18 and 19-year-olds), not children who were impregnated. Doubtlessly a good bit of overlap between those groups, though.

  18. U.S. teen pregnancy drops sharply; child impregnation most popular in states with Hardees, not Carl Juniors.

    U.S. teen pregnancy drops sharply; child impregnation most popular in states of mid 30 degree latitude.

    U.S. teen pregnancy drops sharply; child impregnation most popular in states where big trucks are popular.

    1. Right. Just because correlation does not equal causation, it also doesn’t mean that there ISN’T a causal relationship. In this case, I think abstinence only sex-ed is a pretty good candidate. And it just so happens that the branches of Christianity practiced in the American bible belt are largely responsible for that particular brand of nonsense.

  19. Does this include married teens? A lot of kids in the Bible belt marry and have kids young.

    1. Pretty much all the negative effects associated with teenage pregnancy occur whether the couple is married or not. It’s not like getting married when you’re 17 and pregnant makes things all good.

    2. And in that order.  When I lived in Texas I noticed the culture seemed to  promoted having children at a younger age than what I was accustomed to.  I didn’t notice any particular religious component to that trend, they just seemed to be in a bit of hurry about things there.

    3. As someone who married a 20-year-old, when I was 19, I’d say marrying that young is sometimes far worse than not getting married at all.

      I was just out of my childhood, and suddenly I had *two* babies to take care of.   The spoiled unreasonable expensive difficult one was the 20-year-old.

      1. Even though I believe that you have a point when it comes to many people, what’s true for you isn’t necessarily true for everybody else.

        1. “what’s true for you isn’t necessarily true for everybody else”

          Somebody here isn’t a bible belter.

  20. I like that American Apparel is selling me BELTS in the margin over there… but they could have at least put a teenager in the ad.

  21. It appears from the graph that 2/3 of these children are of voting/military service age. My guess is that it is more socially acceptable in the south for a college aged “child” to get pregnant.

    1. Yeah, where I live, if you get pregnant before high school graduation, we consider that “teen pregnancy”.  If you’re over 18 or a high school graduate, we just consider it “starting a family”.  

      1. Yeah that is not starting a family up here especially if you can’t afford it , still living at home, and forced to take welfare because you have no other options. I have friends like this, so trust me I know and friends who are getting kicked out of their parents homes because they can’t pay.

        1. “if you can’t afford it , still living at home, and forced to take welfare because you have no other options.”

          Thankfully CONSERVATIVES would never do such a thing.

  22. I suspect population density is something of a contributing factor to the teen pregnancy rate.  The northeast has a high population density, and lower pregnancy rate, but I attribute that to the fact that little boys don’t get pregnant having sex with their priest. 

    1. Does it count if they blame both teen pregnancy and homosexuality on the same source? As one neocon columnist writes:

      The popular show ‘Glee’ has caused a stir with lesbian fantasies, gay kissing, teen pregnancy and racy photos of the actors – the new season is sure to display more immorality-promoting content.

    1.  The numbers are for number per 1,000, and the year this data was compiled for is 2010.  Sadly, with all the more recent gutting of women’s rights regarding contraception and abortion, many of these numbers are now out of date.  Still, they present a good picture.

      Soooo, fundies, how’s all that abstinence and prude crap workin’ out for ya?

    1.  Yeah, but only the top 1/3rd of each high school class leaves…. the other 2/3rds stick around and raise their offspring.

  23. Everyone knows that sex without condoms is more fun, so if they made more people use condoms then they would be having less fun and therefore want to have less sex.

  24. I think in Southern States many people don’t have much to do like they do in big cities like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, DC, so they start families sooner instead of going out and partying, travelling and living life like people who move to the big city do. Although, I notice in poorer neighborhoods like the ones I grow up in that half of my HS class has a baby and I’ve been out of HS almost 7 years but most of these people having kids aren’t starting a family as most of them are single and unwed mothers.

  25. I see a different pattern. The closer you get to Canada, the more responsible you become.

  26. What will stop Conservative America’s progeny from having so much hot, wild, bareback sex?

    We don’t have sex ed in Texas schools…I think that could possibly connected to  our high teen pregnancy rate…(sarcasm alert)

  27. “What will stop Conservative America’s progeny from having so much hot, wild, bareback sex?”

    Thanks for engaging in the same level of reasoning as people who blame it on the higher level of blacks and Hispanics in those states.

    1. Except it’s the conservative policy that encourages promiscuous, unprotected sex.

      Thanks for missing the point, though.

    1. “The safest way to drive is to avoid driving entirely. This concludes your automotive safety course.”

      1. Because driving a vehicle is merely an urge that can be overcome with self-control and guidance?  What an odd analogy to draw. Vehicles propel people from point A to B conveniently.  Therefore, sex is for procreation purposes only.  The problem of teen pregnancy, according to you, can be best addressed by curbing the strong desire of teenagers to become parents to needy, screaming infants… as the euphoria of orgasmic stimulation is a moot aside.  At least leak some cogent spores on us.

  28. I’m the father of someone has not yet been involved in a pregnancy in their teen years.  I’m conservative, and live in New Hampshire. Waa-waaaah. 

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