Purpose: To examine pregnancy rates and outcomes (births and abortions) among 15- to 19-year olds and 10- to 14-year olds in all countries for which recent information could be obtained and to examine trends since the mid-1990s.
Methods: Information was obtained from countries' vital statistics reports and the United Nations Statistics Division for most countries in this study. Alternate sources of information were used if needed and available. We present estimates primarily for 2011 and compare them to estimates published for the mid-1990s.
Results: Among the 21 countries with complete statistics, the pregnancy rate among 15- to 19-year olds was the highest in the United States (57 pregnancies per 1,000 females) and the lowest rate was in Switzerland (8). Rates were higher in some former Soviet countries with incomplete statistics; they were the highest in Mexico and Sub-Saharan African countries with available information. Among countries with reliable evidence, the highest rate among 10- to 14-year olds was in Hungary. The proportion of teen pregnancies that ended in abortion ranged from 17% in Slovakia to 69% in Sweden. The proportion of pregnancies that ended in live births tended to be higher in countries with high teen pregnancy rates (p = .02). The pregnancy rate has declined since the mid-1990s in the majority of the 16 countries where trends could be assessed.
Conclusions: Despite recent declines, teen pregnancy rates remain high in many countries. Research on the planning status of these pregnancies and on factors that determine how teens resolve their pregnancies could further inform programs and policies.
Keywords: Cross-national comparisons; Pregnancy outcomes; Pregnancy trends; Teen pregnancies.
Copyright © 2015 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.