Questions for T.J. Mathews, M.S., Demographer, Statistician, and Lead Author of “Declines in Births to Females Aged 10–14 in the United States, 2000–2016”
Q: Why did you decide to examine trends in births to females aged 10-14 in the U.S.?
TM: We have published data on births to females aged 10-14 for decades but only once before have we published data specific to this group. We decided this significant decline was noteworthy and needed publishing.
Q: How have U.S. birth rates to females ages 10-14 changed since 2000?
TM: The birth rate to females aged 10-14 in the U.S. has declined 78% from 0.9 per 1,000 in 2000 to 0.2 in 2016.
Q: What differences or similarities did you see among race and Hispanic origins in this analysis?
TM: From 2000 to 2016, all groups observed declines in the birth rate for this age group. The largest decline was seen for non-Hispanic black females, a decline of 79%. This group had the highest rate in both time periods.
Q: Is there any comparable trend data on U.S. births to females aged 10-14 older than 2000?
TM: While we didn’t study trends in birth rates to 15-19 year olds in this publication we have been reporting significant declines for this age group over this time period.
Q: Were there any surprises in the findings from this report?
TM: First is the wide range of birth rates for this age by state. Using 2014 to 2016 combined the highest rate was seen in Mississippi, 0.7 per 1,000 while a handful of states had rates as low as 0.1. A second interesting observation is that the majority, 81%, of births to 10-14 years old occurred to those 14 years old.
Q: What is the take home message in this report?
TM: Birth and birth rates to females aged 10-14 in the U.S. have declined significantly since 2000. Disparities by race and Hispanic origin and by state persist.