Fewer Teens Are Sexually Active, Says the CDC
Slightly fewer teens ages 15 to 19 are sexually active than in the past, and more teens who are having sex are using contraception. That’s one piece of data from a report just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from an ongoing annual survey examining sexual activity and contraceptive use in U.S. teens. The latest information covers the period from 2011 to 2015.
From 2011-2015, 42.4 percent of unmarried teen girls and 44.2 percent of unmarried teen boys reported having sex at least one time. During this period, 99.4 percent of teen girls reported using some method of contraceptive—up from 97.7 percent in 2002.
According to health officials, monitoring trends in sexual activity and contraceptive use in teens is important because teen pregnancy is associated with significant health, economic, and social costs. Teen birth rates in the United States have been declining since the early 1990s and are now at their lowest level—22.3 births per 1,000 teens ages 15 to 19 in 2015. But they are still higher than those in other developed countries.