How are we doing?
In 2016, the Tucson Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had a rate of 29.9 births per 1,000 females age 15-19. This ranked Tucson seventh among peer western MSAs in teen birth rate. Portland had the lowest rate at 18.5, while El Paso the highest at 52.4 births per 1,000 females age 15-19. Tucson’s teen birth rate has declined over the past few years and is currently below the state rate of 32.9.
Why is it important?
Teen parents and their children face immediate as well as long-term impacts related to their health, education, social, and economic opportunities. Teen mothers typically have lower educational attainment and are at greater risk of living in poverty. This in turn can have considerable social and economic costs to the community as a whole.
How do we compare?
The teen birth rate for the state of Arizona exceeded that of the nation by 3.0 births per 1,000 females age 15-19. The U.S. rate of 27.0 was slightly better than Tucson’s teen birth rate of 29.9 in 2016. Arizona’s teen birth rate of 32.9 placed it in eighth when compared to the 10 western states. To view state and county level data for Arizona visit the Teen Birth Rate Comparison Page.
How is it measured?
The teen birth rate represents the number of live births to mothers 15 to 19 years of age per 1,000 females. The source is the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Vital Statistics System, as made available through the County Health Rankings which calculates the rates based on population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.