Teen Births

Teen birth rates have seen a steady, nationwide decline in recent years. However, rates vary across the country along geographic and racial lines. Unplanned pregnancy often leads to decreased educational attainment and decreased lifetime earnings. Efforts to improve education and health — and reduce poverty — require tackling teen birth rates.

Peer City Perspective

Among its peer cities, Louisville currently ranks 9th in the number of births per 1,000 teens between the ages of 15 and 19, with a teen birth rate of 19.4 per 1,000.

Louisville is in the middle tier of its peer group, according to a natural breaks algorithm. Cities in green are those that outperform their peers. Cities in yellow represent the middle cluster, and those in red are the cities that lag behind their peers on this indicator.

Trends over Time

Teen birth rates have decreased steadily over the past decade. For much of that time, Louisville’s rate hovered above that of its peers. In recent years, however, Louisville has recorded a lower teen birth rate than its peers: 20.7 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 19, compared with 21.7 births among its peers.

Best and Worst Peer Performers

Louisville has outperformed its peers over the last decade, decreasing its teen birth rate by about 32 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 19. Over the same time period, Oklahoma City has decreased its teen birth rate the most: nearly 40 births per 1,000 women. That’s about 4 times better than St. Louis.

Differences by Race

A significant divide exists between the number of births among Black and Hispanic mothers and the number of births among White mothers. In Louisville, for much of the early 2010s, the teen birth rate among Black mothers was substantially higher than that of Hispanic mothers. That trend reversed in the middle of the previous decade. Currently, the teen birth rate in Louisville sits at about 50 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 19 for Hispanic mothers and 32 births for Black mothers.