Facts about Teen Pregnancy and Teen Birth in the City of Rochester

  • Rochester has taken steps to address the historically high rates of teen pregnancy and teen birth; but the problem is not solved.  In the City of Rochester, about 3% of girls, ages 15 to 19, gave birth in 2019; down from about 13% in 1990. (Monroe County Dept. of Public Health)
  • There is a wide disparity between City and suburban teen birth rates.  In the suburban towns of Monroe County, fewer than .5% of girls, ages 15 to 19, gave birth in   In NYS as a whole, 1% of girls (15 to 19) gave birth in 2019.
  • According to youth responses to the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (administered in RCSD high schools), 36% of students have had sexual intercourse. 53% of sexually active youth said they had used a condom the last time that had sex. 18% of sexually active girls said they used the implant or IUD to prevent pregnancy.
  • In 2019, 223 babies were born to teen mothers (ages 15 to 19) in the City of Rochester. In September 2024, these children, if grouped together, would fill 11 kindergarten classrooms.
  • baby-child-kid-girl-1614977% of the total number of babies born in the City of Rochester in 2019 were births to teens, ages 15 to 19. (Monroe County Dept. of Public Health)
  • It is estimated that the annual cost to taxpayers associated with teen birth in New York State was $377 million in 2010.  Many of the problems due to teen birth are inter-generational.  Children of teen parents are more likely to rely on public health care (medicaid and CHIP), are more likely to be involved with the criminal justice system, and are more likely to earn less income as adults.  (Counting it Up, Public Cost of TeenChildbearing in NY in 2010; National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy)
  • Countries in western Europe have lower rates of teen pregnancy and teen birth, as compared to the U.S. The teen pregnancy rate in the U.S. is three times higher than the rates in Germany or France. The teen birth rate in the U.S. is four times< higher than the rate in Germany, and five times higher than the rate in France. Advocates for Youth attribute these disparities to a number of factors including:

– U.S. teens use contraception and condoms less consistently than European teens; and European girls are more likely to use highly effective hormonal contraception.

– Adolescents in western Europe have easier access to contraception and condoms, and consistent sex education; and are exposed to effective, long-term and humorous public education media campaigns.

– Advocates for Youth publications state that adults in France and Germany tend to respect adolescents and expect them to act responsibly.  (Adolescent Sexual Health in Europe and the United States, Advocates for Youth)