Fewer Wisconsin teens are having babies. The latest data from state health officials shows the birth rate to mothers age 15-19 has dropped dramatically.
Teen births have been on a downward trend across the United States. And in Wisconsin they’ve dropped by half over a span of eight years.
The rate of teen births in the state was 15 per 1,000 women ages 15 to 19 in 2016, according to an annual report put out by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. The rate was nearly 31 per 1,000 in 2008.
But the decline was not across the board: births to Hispanic teen moms rose to 33 per 1,000 women ages 15 to 19.
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The state report did not include births to very young mothers. But a previous study showed a decline in births to girls age 10-14. Wisconsin's rate of births for that group is on par with the nation's.
The report also showed a slight increase in infant mortality.
Graph courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services
The rate of babies dying before their first birthday was 6.2 per 1000 in 2016, up from 5.7 per 1,000 in 2015. The mortality rate remained highest for African-American babies in the state, with more than 14 deaths for every 1,000 births.
Other states also have a similar race disparity in infant deaths, but Wisconsin’s gap is higher than in other states.