Pregnancy, abortion rates among young women decreasing since 1973

In 2016, pregnancy rates for women 24 or younger hit record lows, while in contrast, pregnancy rates among older individuals have been increasing since 1973, according to analysis from the New York City-based Guttmacher Institute. 

The Guttmacher Institute calculates historical statistics on pregnancy, birth and abortion rates for the U.S. Its most recent report includes the most recent data available, analyzing statistics from 1973 to 2016. The estimates rely on multiple data sources. For more information on methodology, click here

Five key survey findings: 

1. In 2016, pregnancy rates for women 24 or younger hit a record low, continuing a consistent decline in pregnancy rates among young people since the late 1980s. 

2. There were 15 pregnancies per 1,000 women ages 15-17 in 2016 (down from a peak of 75 in 1989); 60 pregnancies per 1,000 women 18-19 years (from a peak of 175 in 1991) and 115 pregnancies per 1,000 women ages 20-24 (from a peak of 202 in 1990).

3. Pregnancy rates for those 35-39 years and 40 or older reached historic highs in 2016, with rates of 73 and 18 per 1,000, respectively.

4. The decline in the pregnancy rate among teens and young adults was the result of declines in both birth and abortion rates.

5. Among women ages 30-34, 35-39, and 40 or older, the rate of abortions has stayed relatively stable since the late 1970s, with birth rates consistently increasing.

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