Teen birth rates in Hennepin declined in 2013

by Christiaan Tarbox
Sun Post Newspapers

The number of Hennepin County adolescents giving birth saw a significant decline in 2013, according to a county statement.
Based on a Hennepin County study, the county saw a 15 percent dip in births by teenagers, which continued a six-year decrease that began in 2007. Hennepin County’s 2013 decrease compares to a 9 percent decline in the state of Minnesota, and a 10 percent decrease in the United States.

The county attributes this dip to successful programs that discourages young people from engaging in risky sexual behavior, or at the very least help them stay safe when they become sexually active.

According to a 2012 report, 701 births in Hennepin County were attributed to mothers ages 15 to 19. That year, the teen birth rate was 19.6 births per 1,000, compared to the 32 births per 1,000 in 2007, marking a 41 percent decrease in five years.

“Teen parenthood is devastating to the potential of young people and leads to higher taxpayer costs,” said Hennepin County District 1 Commissioner Mike Opat in a statement. “I’m proud that Hennepin County is outperforming the rest of the state and country with these persistent declines.”