Sexual Behaviors, Pregnancy, and Contraception Use Among Teens

Written by on July 27, 2017

A recent article published by NBC News discusses the recent CDC findings of teen sexual activity and contraception use.  Teens 15-19 years old are waiting longer to have sex and they are not having sex with someone they just met.  74% of females and 51% of males reported their first sexual encounter was with a partner they were “going steady” with.  99% of teens also reported using some form of contraception the first time they have sex.1

Teen Pregnancy Rate

The CDC reported that the national teen pregnancy rate hit an all-time low in 2015 at 22.3 per 1,000 females- or 2.23% of all births.  Compared to other developed countries, this is still extremely high.  The 2011 data, reveals the United States had one of the highest pregnancy rates for 15-19 years olds2:

  • United States:            34 births/ 1000 females
  • Canada:                     13 births/ 1000 females
  • France:                       7 births/ 1000 females
  • Germany:                    5 births/ 1000 females

According to the Florida Vital Statistics Annual Report 2015, 1.44% of all live births in Florida were to females under the age of 18.  Highlands County had a total of 917 births in 2015 with 21 births to females under the age of 18.3 The Highlands County teen birth rate (<18 years old) is higher than the state and national average at 2.29% of all live births in Highlands County.  However, we are seeing a decrease in teen pregnancy in Highlands County over time.  The graph below compares births to mothers ages 10-19 per 1000 females in Highlands County and Florida from 1992- 2013.4

While Highlands County has always had a higher teen birth rate than the state average, we are seeing that number decline as contraception use increases.  Progress has been made in reducing risky sexual behaviors and pregnancy among teens, however, there is still more work to be done.

To read the article from NBC News, visit

To view the full CDC report, visit

1 Article from NBC News. June, 2017. Teens are having sex later, using contraception, cdc finds. Retrieved from
CDC. June, 2017. Sexual activity and contraceptive use among teenagers in the united states, 2011-2015. Retrieved from
3 Florida Department of Health. 2017. Florida Vital Statistics Annual Report 2015. Retrieved from
4 Health Council of West Central Florida, Inc. 2015. Highlands County 2015 Community Health Assessment. Retrieved from

Larry is the Program Director of the iMAD Program. As a community leader, he is dedicated to helping youth make healthy choices.

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