CDC report finds fewer teens having babies; rates still deemed too high.
A study released wednesday by the National Center for Health Statistics finds the teen birth rate in the U.S. is on the decline after a brief spike, with 41 out of every 1,000 teenage girls having babies in 2008.
Experts say they are encouraged by the recent drop, but they also say the numbers are still too high considering the additional risks babies of young mothers face.
Teens in the South and Southwest had the highest birth rate, as well as mothers of Hispanic descent.
Their risk was three times higher than white teenagers and two times higher than African-Americans.
Experts will use the data on the differences among the states to target areas that need pregnancy prevention programs.
The teen birth rate was highest in Mississippi and lowest in New Hampshire.
The researchers did not study why birth rates differed among the states, but they say factors like education, income, and attitudes towards pregnancy and sex play a role.