Teen birth rate steadily dropping in Alaska

    KENAI, Alaska (AP) — Fewer teens are becoming mothers in Alaska as the teen birth rate continues to drop.

    Posted Sunday, May 8th, 2016 12:31pm by Lori James

    KENAI, Alaska (AP) — Fewer teens are becoming mothers in Alaska as the teen birth rate continues to drop.

    The Peninsula Clarion reports that according to the Alaska Section of Epidemiology, Alaska's birth rate among women 15-19 years old is still higher than the nation average, with 27.8 per 1,000 teens age 15-19 years compared to 24.2 per 1,000 nationally, but state teen births have fallen significantly from 42.6 per 1,000 in 2008.

    The numbers only count live births, not miscarriages, stillbirths or abortions.

    State officials attribute the drop to an increased availability in contraceptives, but say it's unclear why there is such a wide regional disparity in Alaska.

    The Gulf Coast region of the state saw only 20.9 per 1,000 teen births compared to the Northern region, with had 63.3 per 1,000.

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