Teenage Fertility: Does Place, Race, or Poverty Matter?

Carla Shoff, Pennsylvania State University

The main objective of this study is to identify rural/urban differences in teenage birth rates in counties across the continental United States and determine how the availability of family planning clinics affects the teenage birth rate. Using data from the NCHS 2004 non-public use natality file, and SF1 and SF3 of the 2000 Census, the author calculates birth rates for teenagers 15-17 years, and regress that on independent demographic variables using OLS. Three separate measures of rurality are run and the most effective model is used in a geographically weighted regression analysis to check for variation across space. This study uses GIS to map the spatial distribution of the teenage birth rates and family planning clinics throughout the U.S. If there are rural/urban differences in the teenage birth rates, the results of this study can be used by family planning clinics to develop place-specific strategies to address teenage pregnancy programs.

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Presented in Poster Session 6