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Population Profiles: Youth
 
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Growing Up is Hard to Do

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  Do teenagers now face more obstacles than they did twenty or thirty years ago? They do, according to the Census Bureau. "About half of America's 16- and 17-year-olds live with at least one risk factor such as poverty, welfare dependence, or the absence of one or both parents that makes them more likely to face adversity later in life." Their assessment, based upon the March 1996 Current Population Survey, (Census Brief: America's Children at Risk) demonstrates a correlation between an increasing number of risk factors present and the increased likelihood of adverse outcomes, such as the number of teenage mothers and the number of those not in school and not working.  
  Have "adverse outcomes" increased since 1996? Apparently in spite of the increase of risk factors, these adverse outcomes, as well as other key indicators related to the health and well-being of adolescents, have shown some improvement. During a 5-year period, Pregnancy (-14%), Birth (-13%) and Abortion (-16%) rates all dropped. The number of 16-19 year olds "Not Working and Not in School" dropped (-1.3%). Drug (-1%), Alocohol (-0.1%) and Cigarette (-3%) use have declined slightly or remained stable. And, crime rates involving teenagers either as perpetrators (-52%) or victims
(-46%) have declined significantly.
 
  FAST FACT: During the decade of the nineties all 50 states (and
the District of Columbia) experienced a decline in the birth rate ranging from -12.3% to -38.5%.
 
     
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U.S. Teenagers
Sources: US Census Bureau; Census 2000; Current Population Survey; March 1996 Current Population Survey; Census Brief: America's Children at Risk (CNBR/97-2); National Vital Statistics Reports: vol 50 no 9, National Center for Health Statistics, 2002; Forum on Child and Family Statistics: America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well Being 2002,

CRIME AND PREGNANCY RELATED RATES 1996-2000
(Scale in number per 1000 Youth 15-19*)
* Age 12-17; ** Pregnancy, Birth and Abortion rates are based upon 1995 & 1999 data
OTHER KEY INDICATORS OF WELL-BEING 1996-2000 (Percentage of All Youth 12-17) 2000 TEENAGE BIRTH RATE BY STATE
(Number of Births per 1000 Women 15-19)
* Not in School, Not Working (Age 16-19)
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