A look at the Real Costs of Teen
Teen pregnancy affects everyone
- Although the rates are declining, the U.S. still has the
highest rates of teen pregnancy, birth, and abortion in
the western industrialized world. Problems related to teen
pregnancy cost taxpayers over $7 billion per year
- Forty percent of American girls become pregnant at least
once by age 20 -- that's nearly one million teen pregnancies
Teen pregnancy is linked to poverty
and school failure
- Half of all single mothers on welfare were teenagers when
they had their first child.
- Fewer than one-third of teen mothers ever finish high
school. This leaves them unprepared for the job market and
more likely to raise their children in poverty.
- Nearly 80 percent of the fathers of babies born to teen
mothers do not marry their babies' mothers. On average,
these absent fathers pay less than $800 annually for child
Children of teen mothers suffer most.
- Children of teen mothers are twice as likely to be abused
and neglected as are children of older mothers.
- Babies born to teens are at an increased risk of low birth
weight and for attending health problems: mental retardation,
blindness, deafness, mental illness, cerebral palsy, and
- Children of teen mothers are more likely to do poorly
in school, more likely to drop out of school, and less likely
to attend college.
- The consequences to the children of teen mothers continue
into young adulthood. Girls born to teen mothers are 22
percent more likely to become mothers as teens themselves
and sons of teen mothers are more likely to end up in jail.
Information for these facts supplied from teenpregnancy.org.