Record Decline in Birth Rates Among Young People Signal That Prevention Works

Press release

Record Decline in Birth Rates Among Young People Signal That Prevention Works

May 17, 2018
Power to Decide logo next to a picture of a woman

(Washington, D.C.) —According to a preliminary report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2017, the United States had the lowest number of births in 30 years for women in their teens, 20s and their 30s.  Specifically, in 2017 birthrates for teens dropped 7 percent from the previous year, and birthrates for women in their 30s hit a record low, falling 4 percent. Among the many factors contributing to the decline include young people delaying having children; and an increase in the use of the most effective methods of contraception.     

“The report suggests that declines in birth rates is due in part to young people having the supports they need to act on their decisions to delay childbearing,” said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO, Power to Decide. “However, even with this positive news, we must stay the course. We must ensure that all women have access to the contraceptive method right for them. By continuing to invest in access to contraception, and quality sexual health information and education, we enable young people to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant.”

An analysis from Power to Decide, the campaign to prevent unplanned pregnancy, shows declines in the rates of unplanned pregnancies and birth among teens resulted in public savings of $4.4 billion for 2015 alone.  In addition, a recent survey conducted by Power to Decide showed that nearly 9 in 10 (87 percent) adults in the United States agree that everyone deserves the power to access the full range of birth control methods, regardless of who they are, where they live, or their economic status.  

“Although access to contraception is critical to reducing unplanned pregnancies, we must also talk to the young people in our lives about sex, love and relationships. These conversations have the power to change lives and must happen continuously throughout their formative years.”  

A new campaign from Power to Decide, TalkingIsPower, is a national effort to spark meaningful conversations between young people and the champions who care about them. The campaign message is simple—Start early, Talk often—and is designed to encourage champions of youth—families, educators, youth leaders, and more—of the unique and important role they have in providing accurate information on sex, love, relationships, and contraception.