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Health Indicator Report of Adolescent Births

Research indicates that bearing a child during adolescence is associated with long-term difficulties for the mother, her child, and society. These consequences are often attributable to poverty and other adverse socioeconomic circumstances that frequently accompany early childbearing. Compared to babies born to older mothers, babies born to adolescent mothers, particularly young adolescent mothers, are at higher risk of low birth weight and infant mortality. These babies are more likely to grow up in homes that offer lower levels of emotional support and cognitive stimulation, and they are less likely to earn a high school diploma. For the mothers, giving birth during adolescence is associated with limited educational attainment, which in turn can reduce future employment prospects and earning potential.

Adolescent Birth Rate by Age of Mother, Utah and U.S., 2000-2016

Data Sources

  • Utah Birth Certificate Database, Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah Department of Health
  • Population Estimates: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) through a collaborative agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau, IBIS Version 2016
  • National Vital Statistics System, National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Data Interpretation Issues

The adolescent birth rate does not include abortions or miscarriages, and is an underestimate of the adolescent pregnancy rate.


The adolescent birth rate is reported as the number of live births per 1,000 adolescent females aged 15-19.


The number of live births to adolescent mothers aged 15-19.


The number of adolescent females in the population.

Other Objectives

Utah's 42 Community Health Indicators[[br]] Similar to HP2020 Objective FP-8: Reduce PREGNANCIES among adolescent females.

How Are We Doing?

The teen birth rates per 1,000 females aged 15-19 in Utah, for the past five years were: 2012: 23.2[[br]] 2013: 20.6[[br]] 2014: 19.5[[br]] 2015: 17.8[[br]] 2016: 15.6 According to the 2015 Pregnancy Risk and Monitoring Survey (PRAMS) data, 45% of Utah teen mothers (age 15-19) reported their pregnancies as mistimed or unwanted. Another 29% reported that they were unsure whether or not they wanted to be pregnant.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Utah's adolescent birth rate has been lower than the United States' overall rate over the past decade, but is higher than several other states. Utah and U.S. adolescent birth rates per 1,000 females age 15-19 for the past five years were: 2012: Utah 23.2/U.S. 29.4[[br]] 2013: Utah 20.6/U.S. 26.5[[br]] 2014: Utah 19.5/U.S. 24.2[[br]] 2015: Utah 17.8/U.S. 22.3[[br]] 2016: Utah 15.6/U.S. 20.3

What Is Being Done?

Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs: The Utah Department of Health receives federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Family & Youth Services Bureau to provide two programs addressing teen pregnancy prevention in Utah. The first program is Abstinence Education, targeting Utah youth ages 10-16 with a specific focus on youth in the Utah Juvenile Justice and foster care systems, youth of Hispanic or American Indian origin, and youth residing in areas with adolescent birth rates higher than Utah's state rate. The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) sub-contracts these federal funds to five local health departments. The second program is the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP). These funds must be used for a program designed to educate adolescents on both abstinence and contraception to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, and at least three adulthood preparation subjects (healthy relationships, education and career success, healthy life skills, adolescent development, financial literacy, and parent-child communication). The Utah Department of Health sub-contracts these funds to four local health departments and the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake. The target population is Utah youth ages 14-19 with a specific focus on youth in the Utah Juvenile Justice and foster care systems, youth of Hispanic or American Indian origin, pregnant and parenting teens, and youth residing in areas with adolescent birth rates higher than Utah's state rate. For more information or questions regarding the two programs mentioned above, contact Elizabeth Gerke at 801-273-2870 or

Evidence-based Practices

Utah's teen pregnancy prevention programs utilize the following evidence-based interventions: All4You[[br]] Be Proud, Be Responsible[[br]] Families Talking Together[[br]] Get Real[[br]] Heritage Keepers[[br]] Making A Difference[[br]] Teen Outreach Program (TOP)

Available Services

Youth development programs, support groups for teen parents, and/or classes for youth and parents are available in Box Elder, Cache, Duchesne, Morgan, Salt Lake, Tooele, Uintah, Utah, and Weber counties. For more information, contact Elizabeth Gerke at or 801-273-2870.
Page Content Updated On 04/01/2018, Published on 04/27/2018
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Fri, 16 November 2018 23:22:13 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Tue, 2 Oct 2018 09:29:03 MDT