Medical Minute: Teen birth rates in North Dakota

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The rate of teen birth in North Dakota is declining but not at the same pace as the national average.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teen birth rates in the state are significantly lower than in years' prior and are equal with the national average.
But the rates of decrease in neighboring states and throughout the country are much higher than in North Dakota.

The CDC says that teenage girls in the state ages 15 to 19 had a birth rate of 29.7 per 1,000 in 2005. That number fell to 20.3 in 2016 showing a decline of about 32 percent.

During that same time, the national teen birth rate went from 40.5 per 1,000 births to 20.3 percent, showing a decrease of nearly 50 percent.

Local clinicians in Minot say it shows that teens need more education.

"I think that this points to the fact that we have more work to do to educate our teens and our parents because the parents are the main ones that teens look to for guidance,” Nadia Smith, the Clinic Director of Dakota Hope Clinic told KMOT.

Dakota Hope Clinic in Minot offers a sexual education course to parents, teachers, nurses and social workers. For more information visit their website.