Adolescent Pregnancy, Birth and Abortion Rates across Countries

Gilda Sedgh, Guttmacher Institute
Lawrence B. Finer, Guttmacher Institute
Akinrinola Bankole, Guttmacher Institute
Susheela D. Singh, Guttmacher Institute
Michelle Eilers, Guttmacher Institute

We assess recent levels and trends in teen pregnancy, abortion and childbearing across countries. Data were obtained primarily from national government or multinational agencies. We present statistics for 2011 and estimates published for the mid-1990s. Among the 21 countries with complete statistics, the pregnancy rate among 15–19 year-olds was highest in the United States (68 per 1000 15–19 year-old females) and the lowest rate was in Switzerland (8). Rates were higher in some former Soviet countries with incomplete statistics, and in African and Latin American countries for which estimates could be made. The proportion of teen pregnancies that ended in abortion ranged from 17% in Slovakia to 69% in Sweden. The proportion of pregnancies that ended in live births tended to be higher in countries with high teen pregnancy rates. The pregnancy rate declined since the mid-1990s in the majority of the countries where trends could be assessed.

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Presented in Session 146: Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health