News

Kids Count report shows continued decline in teen birth rates

Written by Angie Mason, York Daily Record | Jul 22, 2015 1:30 PM
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(York) -- Teen birth rates have continued to drop at a national and state level, according to a report that looks at child well-being, and data available for York County shows that trend, too.

The 2015 Kids Count Data Book shows that in Pennsylvania, there were 30 births per 1,000 girls age 15 to 19 in 2008, and that number dropped to 21 in 2013. At a nationwide level, that rate has dropped from 40 to 26 per 1,000 for the same years.

Similar data shows that in York County, births to mothers younger than 20 have been declining since 2008, when they made up 9.8 percent of births. In 2012, those young mothers made up 7.5 percent of births.

"I think that we are making great strides," said Patricia Fonzi, president and CEO of the Family Health Council of Central PA.

She thinks better interventions in school, better engagement between parents and kids and other factors have contributed to adolescent pregnancy declining in this generation.

But, she cautioned, layering socioeconomic data usually shows "significant disparity by race, ethnicity, income and educational status." Minorities and low-income teens, for example, are more likely to become pregnant.

So there's good work that should continue, she said, but also a need to identify those "pockets of need" that are going unmet.

Here's a look at some other information from the Kids Count report, which ranks states using data on subjects such as economics, education and health to determine if children are getting what they need to succeed. The report doesn't look at the county level but provides access to similar local data.

19

That's the percentage of children who live in poverty in Pennsylvania, a rate that has worsened since it stood at 17 percent in 2008. In York County, the percentage of children in poverty has also increased, from about 12.6 percent in the years 2007-09 to 16.4 percent in 2011-13.

53

That percentage of children, age 3 or 4, who didn't attend preschool in Pennsylvania from 2011 to 2013. The number has increased slightly since about four years earlier.

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children tracks children age 3 and 4 who are enrolled what are deemed high quality pre-kindergarten programs. In York County, in 2013-14, there were 84 percent of children didn't have access to such programs.

Mike Race, spokesman for the organization, said that's a common problem in urban, rural and suburban areas -- there are more kids eligible for programs than there are programs available.

5

That's the percentage of children in the state who didn't have health insurance in 2013, a slight improvement from 6 percent in 2008. Similar data for York County showed 4.2 percent of children without health insurance in the years 2011 to 2013, a percentage that has increased slightly in recent years.

For more information

Pennsylvania ranked 17th in the 2015 Kids Count Data Book, which ranks states on factors measuring child wellbeing. The state dropped one spot from the previous year's report.

Want to dig deeper into the data?

Find the 2015 Kids Count Data Book at www.aecf.org. You can read the national report, download Pennsylvania's report, or visit the Data Center, which includes information from a local level.

Also of interest

5 takeaways from local and state leaders about high quality pre-k in Pennsylvania

State funding will create new YWCA York pre-k class


This article comes to us through a partnership between York Daily Record and WITF. 

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