Teen pregnancy and birth rates are at historic lows among Minnesota adolescents

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The 2016 Minnesota Adolescent Sexual Health Report is now available from the University of Minnesota’s Healthy Youth Development*Prevention Research Center (HYD*PRC). This report focuses on youth ages 15-19 and evaluates trends in pregnancy and birth rates, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and how geographic, sexual orientation, racial/ethnic disparities and adverse childhood experiences impact the sexual health of Minnesota’s youth.

Among adolescents ages 15-19, teen pregnancy has declined 66 percent from 1990 to 2014, and teen birth rates have followed this trend, declining 58 percent during that same time period. 

Despite adolescents showing declining rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia rates remaining unchanged, STIs are still widespread throughout the state.  Racial/ethnic disparities, sexual orientation, and adverse childhood experiences are also shown to be strong predictors of increased numbers of youth experiencing negative sexual health outcomes.

“This report is a testament to the wise and healthy decisions young people are making about their sexual health,” said Jill Farris, M.P.H., director of Adolescent Sexual Health Training and Education for HYD*PRC. “Still, pregnancy, birth and STIs negatively impact far too many young people.  We must continue our efforts to improve the sexual health of Minnesota youth.”

In addition to the statewide report, the HYD*PRC has created individualized reports for each of the 87 counties in Minnesota, including recommendations for lowering rates of disparities and increasing communication and access to safe and healthy sexual practices. This research will help to inform community and local public health practices and aims to reduce the rates of teen pregnancy and STIs among Minnesota youth.

To access the entire report or an individual county report, visit www.z.umn.edu/ASHR2016.   

The results will be discussed in a free webinar, “The State of Adolescent Sexual Health in Minnesota” on Wednesday, June 29th, 2016 from 10:00 am to 11:30 am CST.  Please register to attend.