Providing an environment where young people have the power to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child not only benefits the young people themselves, but also leads to significant savings in publicly funded programs. Thanks to young people, the United States has made historic progress in helping match young people’s intentions and actions regarding pregnancy—the teen birth rate plummeted by 64% between 1991 and 2015. This progress thus far creates $4.4 billion in public savings each year, according to new analyses by Power to Decide. If all teens were able to avoid unplanned pregnancy and childbearing, we estimate that the US could save an additional $1.9 billion each year.1
Potential Savings Associated with Avoidance of Unplanned Pregnancy Among Teens for a County or Other Location
In addition to downloading fact sheets describing the national and state-level estimates of public savings associated with the prevention of unplanned pregnancy among teens, you can also use the calculator below to estimate potential savings at the local level. These results will reflect the additional savings that could be realized in a county or locality if all teens there were able to avoid unplanned pregnancy. After selecting a state below, you can either select a county within that state, or simply enter the number of teen births occurring in some other location of interest.2 The calculator will then estimate the amount of public savings associated with that county or number of teen births.3
TEEN PREGNANCY PREVENTION POTENTIAL SAVINGS CALCULATOR
1 This estimate of public savings factors in Medicaid spending associated with prenatal care, labor, delivery, postpartum care, and a year of infant care, in addition to spending associated with public assistance during pregnancy and/or the year following a birth for those who received benefits. For additional detail on these estimates, including our sources and methodology, please see our FAQs.
2 This calculator can provide a result with respect to counties for which data on the number of teen births are publicly available. If you select a county for which these data are not available, you will be prompted to instead enter an estimate of the number of teen births in that county.
3 This result is estimated using the number of teen births in the county of interest, or the number entered by the user. This number is multiplied by the estimated average savings per teen birth in the state of interest, and additional assumptions regarding pregnancy intentions and timing of future childbearing are applied. As such it should be considered an estimate and not an exact tally of savings that would be realized in the locality of interest.