Photo: courtesy Rutger Middendorp
A new report, called “America‘s Children: Key National Indicators of Well Being 2011,” says the national pregnancy rate among adolescents dropped to 20.1 babies per 1,000 girls ages 15-17. However, the number of eighth graders who used drugs within the last 30 days rose from 8% in 2009 to 10% in 2010.
“The teen pregnancy numbers continue to follow a positive trend. We had a long-term decline, the numbers leveled off for a year or two and now the decline has started again both in the state and nationally so that‘s definitely wonderful news,” said Indiana Youth Institute President and CEO Bill Stanczykiewicz.
Stanczykiewicz believes the increase in drug use among teenagers is primarily due to the economy.
“The poverty rate in Indiana has been going up even before the economy cratered in the 2008,” he said. “We‘ve seen a doubling the percentage of the child poverty rate in Indiana since the year 2000.”
The report also showed that injury deaths among teenagers and binge drinking among high school seniors are on the decline.