Like the rest of the nation, Texas has made tremendous progress in reducing the rate of teen birth. Between 2007 and 2016, the birth rate per 1,000 girls ages 15-19 decreased by 52%, from 60.6 to 29.1 per 1,000. However, much is left to accomplish. Texas maintains the fourth highest rate of teen birth in the nation and the highest rate of repeat teen births. Approximately 15% of Texas girls give birth before the age of 20.
Unintended childbearing can create significant barriers for young women. Teen mothers are less likely to complete their education, with only 53% earning a high school diploma, and their odds of living in poverty are high. With 91% of births to teen mothers covered by Medicaid, the public cost also is significant.
Improving access to effective contraception and providing medically accurate sex education can empower young women with the tools and information they need to avoid unplanned pregnancy.