The number of babies born to females ages 15 to 19, expressed as a rate per 1,000 females.
Pregnancy can derail a young woman's life, preventing her from furthering her education or growing up to be self-sufficient. Babies born to teen mothers are at higher risk of having a low birth weight and of infant mortality compared to babies born to older mothers. They are also at risk of lower cognitive development, poor educational outcomes and living in poverty.
In 2017, the teen birth rate was 12 per 1,000, over a 60% decline from the rate of 33 per 1,000 in 2000. The state rate was a bit lower at 8 per 1,000, and the national rate was higher at 19. In 2017, about 300 Essex County teens ages 15 to 19 had babies, compared to more than 700 in 2000.
Essex County had a rate equal to Lake, IL (12 per 1,000) and was higher than both Westchester, NY (7) and Middlesex, MA (4). All areas have experienced large percentage declines.
Rates do not represent a unique count of births as a female may have more than one pregnancy within a given year.