photo by Mom2Piper.Maizy
Mississippi now has the nation's highest teen birth rate, a new federal report says. Mississippi's
rate was more than 60 percent higher than the national average in 2006,
according to new state statistics released Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The lowest teen birth rates continue to be in New England, where three states have rates at about half the national average, which is 42 births per 1,000 teen women.
It's not clear why Mississippi, with 68 births per 1,000, surged into first place. The state's one-year increase of nearly 1,000 teen births could be a statistical blip, said Ron Cossman, a Mississippi State University researcher who focuses on children's health statistics.
More than a year ago, a report on the 2006 data revealed that the U.S. teen birth rate had risen for the first time in about 15 years. But the new numbers provide the first state-by-state breakdown.
Do you think the teen pregnancy rate in your state has gone up?