Teen Mom: Teens in These States Are More Likely to Have Babies Than Any Others

MTV successfully capitalized on young, expectant mothers when it launched 16 and Pregnant and the spin-off series Teen Mom. And although teen birth rates for 2016 were actually down in comparison to those of 2015, young girls (ages 15 to 19) across the nation continue to become part of the statistics. Follow along to find out which states teens are more likely to have babies than any other. (All teen pregnancy data is from the year 2016 and comes from Power to Decide.)    

15. South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Charleston, South Carolina | Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images

  • Teen birth rate: 23.7 per 1,000

Even though the number of teen girls becoming pregnant and giving birth in the state of South Carolina has decreased nearly 70% since 1991, there is still a substantial amount of work to do when it comes to awareness and prevention. The ‘Power to Decide‘ campaign has made significant strides in order to provide teens and young women the education and resources needs to prevent unplanned pregnancies.

Next: Nevada

14. Nevada

Reno, Nevada downtown

Reno, Nevada | ddub3429/iStock/Getty Images

  • Teen birth rate: 24.2 per 1,000

Nevada’s teen birth rate has decreased from 2015’s 27.6 statistic, which is inching closer to closer to the 20.3 national average. The state has experienced a sizeable reduction in the teen birth rate since 1991 at nearly 68%, however, the current resources for preventing unplanned pregnancies are may be lacking. To boot, in 2010 alone, the state shelled out a whopping $103 million solely to fund costs associated with unplanned pregnancies.

Next: South Dakota

13. South Dakota

Deadwood, South Dakota

Deadwood, South Dakota | vPaulTech LLC/iStock/Getty Images

  • Teen birth rate: 25.1 per 1,000

Since 1991, the state of South Dakota has experienced a 47% decrease in the rate of teen pregnancies. While that reduction has managed to save the state millions of dollars, unplanned pregnancies are considered to be a bit of a strain on the state’s financial resources. In 2010 alone, South Dakota spent an estimated $49 million purely on the cost of unplanned pregnancies.

Next: Alaska

12. Alaska

Byers Lake, Alaska, with a view of Denali

Byers Lake, Alaska | Mbarrettimages/iStock/Getty Images

  • Teen birth rate: 25.8 per 1,000

The state of Alaska is experiencing a steady decline in its teen birth rate year over year. In terms of the larger picture, this birth rate has decreased by 60% since 1991. Furthermore, teen pregnancy statistics have made significant strides too, dropping 58% between 1988 and 2013. These decreases are particularly important considering the Last Frontier spent a total of $114 million on unplanned pregnancies in 2010.

Next: Wyoming

11. Wyoming

Wyoming State highway

Wyoming State welcome road sign | robertcicchetti/Getty Images

  • Teen birth rate: 26.1 per 1,000

In 2016, 463 Wyoming teenagers gave birth, making the birth rate equal to 26.1 for every 1,000 teenage females. However, that number has since dropped from the 2015 rate of 29.2. Even though the state of Wyoming managed to save $4 million in 2015 when the rate dropped, this figure pales in comparison to the $55 million it spent on unplanned pregnancies in 2010.

Next: Tennessee

10. Tennessee

Gatlinburg Tennessee

Gatlinburg, Tennessee | Sean Pavone Photo/iStock/Getty Images

  • Teen birth rate: 28.0 per 1,000

The obvious trend of higher teen birth rates in the southern region of the country holds true as Tennessee lands itself in the top 10. However, the decreasing trend also holds true, as the birth rate between 2015 and 2016 dropped by 2.5. That’s great news, considering the state spent a jaw-dropping $531 million on unplanned pregnancies in 2010. This decrease enabled Tennessee to put $131 million back in its pockets in 2016.

Next: Alabama

9. Alabama

scene of downtown Huntsville, Alabama

Cityscape scene of downtown Huntsville, Alabama | iStock/Getty Images

  • Teen birth rate: 28.4 per 1,000

The teen birth rate for Alabama also saw a decrease for 2016, dropping by 1.7. All in all, the state has experienced a 61% decrease in teen births since 1991. Yet, an interesting piece of the teen pregnancy puzzle is that 15% of the state’s teen births in 2016 were born to girls who actually already had one child. In 2010, the state spent an estimated $323 million on unplanned births.

Next: West Virginia

8. West Virginia

charleston, west virginia

Charleston, West Virginia | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • Teen birth rate: 29.3 per 1,000

Since 1991, West Virginia’s teen birth rate decreased by almost 50%. Proving that work towards continued progress is paying off. In 2015, the Mountain State was able to save $14 million because of the year-over-year decrease of 2.6. This sort of progress will only boost the state’s bottom line, considering it shelled out $145 million for unplanned pregnancies back in 2010.

Next: New Mexico

7. New Mexico

Taos, New Mexico

Taos, New Mexico | RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/iStock/Getty Images

  • Teen birth rate: 29.3 per 1,000

New Mexico’s teen birth rate dropped by 5.3 from 2015, making it the most significant year over year decrease of the top 15 states. Since 1991, the state has managed to lower this birth rate by a margin of 63%. In 2015 alone, the Land of Enchantment was able to save $38 million because of the continued declines.

Next: Louisiana

6. Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana | Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images

  • Teen birth rate: 30.6 per 1,000

The state of Louisiana spent a gasp-worthy $651 million on unplanned pregnancies in 2010. While that number has lowered based on consistent reduction patterns, it is certainly nothing to scoff at. Of the 4,545 teen births in 2016, 17% of them were to teenage girls who were already mothers.

Next: Kentucky

5. Kentucky

Louisville, KY

Louisville, Kentucky | toddtaulman/iStock/Getty Images

  • Teen birth rate: 30.9 per 1,000

Since 1991, Kentucky’s teen birth rate has decreased by 55%, bringing the state to its current rate of 30.9 per every 1,000 teenage girls. 75% of these children are born to teens between the ages of 18 and 19 years old, and 16% are born to teens who have already given birth to a previous child. Statewide, Kentucky forked out $378 million on unplanned pregnancies.

Next: Texas 

4. Texas

Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas | Roschetzky/iStock/Getty Images

  • Teen birth rate: 31.0 per 1,000

In 2015, the state of Texas had a teen birth rate of 34.6, however the following year, that statistic decreased by 3.6. That translates to 30,000 babies born to teenagers for the 2016 year. The good news is that as rates continue to decline the Lone Star state is able to save a heck of a lot of money. In 2015 alone, Texas was able to save $418 million from lowered teen pregnancy rates.

Next: Mississippi 

3. Mississippi

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi | Frank Kovalchek/Wikimedia Commons

  • Teen birth rate: 32.6 per 1,000

As one of the top three states with the highest teenage birth rates, Mississippi continues to lag behind when it comes to meeting the national average. Although the state did see a decrease in teen births from 2015, there were still 3,326 teenagers who gave birth in 2016. That type of statistic puts a major strain on the state’s public spending.

Next: Oklahoma

2. Oklahoma

Welcome to Oklahoma Sign along highway

Welcome to Oklahoma Sign along highway | pabradyphoto/Getty Images

  • Teen birth rate: 33.4 per 1,000

Coming in with the second-highest teenage birth rate in America, Oklahoma has managed to decrease that statistic by 1.2 from 2015. With 4,250 having given birth in 2016, the state is well-aware that much more work surrounds the effort to improve this expensive issue. Oklahoma spent $331 million of the public’s money on unplanned pregnancies in 2010.

Next: The state with the highest teenage birth rate in the country

1. Arkansas

Little Rock, Arkansas

Little Rock, Arkansas | Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images

  • Teen birth rate: 34.6 per 1,000

The highest teenage birth rate in the United States goes to Arkansas. Although the state did manage to lower its stats by 3.4, there were still 3,372 teenage girls who gave birth in 2016 — 17% of whom already had a child. These unplanned pregnancies and births cost the Arkansas hundreds of millions every single year.

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