By the Numbers: The Public Costs of Teen Childbearing (2006)

This article, compiled by Dr. Saul Hoffman and reviewed by the National Campaign’s Effective Programs and Research Task Force, discusses the public sector costs of teen pregnancy affecting the federal, state and local governments and tax payers.

The report is divided into the following sections:

  • Context: Teen Births in the United States
  • The Cost of a Teen Birth: What the Study Measures and How
  • Costs of Teen Childbearing:  Consequences for the Children
  • Costs of Teen Childbearing:  Consequences for the Parents
  • Conclusions: Public Sector Costs of Teen Births

Some of the key findings in the article that are of interest:

  • Between 1991 and 2004 there were 6,776,230 births to teens in the United States.
    The estimated cumulative public costs of teen childbearing during this time period is
    $161 billion USD.
  • The steady decline in the teen birth rate between 1991 and 2004 has already yielded substantial cost savings. As noted above, the national teen birth rate declined by one-third
    between 1991 and 2004. This progress in reducing teen childbearing saved taxpayers an
    estimated $6.7 billion in 2004 alone.
  • Because not all costs can be measured, and because the estimates themselves are constructed conservatively, it is certain that the full public sector costs of teen childbearing
    are larger than those noted in this analysis

Click for a link to the “Public Costs of Teen Childbearing in ILLINOIS” (PDF)


Hoffman, S. By the Numbers: The Public Costs of Teen Childbearing (2006)

Link to “By the Numbers: The Public Costs of Teen Childbearing.” (PDF)

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