Northwest Minnesota and Pennington County are still posting some of the highest number of teen pregnancies in the state, although a new study from the University of Minnesota Medical School shows birth rates among Minnesota mothers age 15 to 19 state-wide are at an all-time low.
The Minnesota Adolescent Sexual Health Report shows a 71-percent decline in pregnancies for 15- to 19-year olds between 1990 and 2016, and a 65-percent drop in the teen birth rate. Researchers attribute the decline to a combination of delayed sexual activity and increased use of highly effective contraceptive methods. The most recent figures indicate an eight-percent decline in the teen birth rate and five-percent fewer pregnancies from 2015 to 2016. The ten counties with the highest teen birth rates are in Greater Minnesota and that includes Pennington; at Number 10, with young mothers age 15 to 19 making up 30 of every one thousand births in the county.
Cass County, the Walker Area – is 6th highest – Beltrami is 4th while Mahnomen County posted the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the state; with teen mothers making up just over 75 births for every 1 thousand pregnancies.