Health > Teenage pregnancy: Countries Compared


Author: Luke.Metcalfe

Teenage pregnancy is a problem that plagues both developed and developing countries.

The rate of teen pregnancy in the United States has decreased by 25% from 2007 to 2011, but they still have the highest rate among developed countries. Among these nations, The US also has the highest rates of teenage abortions and sexually transmitted diseases. It was noted that in half of the estimated 400,000 annual teen pregnancies, no method of birth control was used. The rate of these pregnancies is higher in families with lower education and income. Disparities in race and ethnicity is noted, as the rate of teen pregnancy in Hispanic teens and non-Hispanic blacks were two times higher than in non-Hispanic white teens.

The burden of teen pregnancy is much higher in developing nations, which is estimated at 7.3 million per year as of 2013. Of these, 2 million were teenagers below 14 years of age. In third world nations, the causes of teen pregnancy include poverty, customs and traditions, and lack of education.

Early pregnancy poses a risk both to the mother and to the newborn. In developing nations, up to 70,000 adolescents die of pregnancy and childbirth complications per year. Compared to babies born to mothers above 20 years of age, babies born to teenagers have 50% higher death rates. They are also more likely to have low birth weights, which makes them prone to long term health risks. The incidence of abortion, HIV and AIDS also rise in proportion to the rate of teen pregnancies.

Teenage pregnancy also has a significant economic impact both to developed and developing nations. Because these teen mothers cannot join the workforce, estimated annual losses to the economy are significant. In Kenya, Brazil and India, the figures are at $ 3.4B, $3.5B and $7.7B respectively. In the US, teenage pregnancy costs $11B of taxpayers’ money annually. Only half of these adolescents are able to complete high school education by 22 years old.


1) WHO: Adolescent pregnancy. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs364/en/

2) WHO http://www.who.int/maternalchildadolescent/topics/maternal/adolescent_pregnancy/en/

3) US Department of Health and Human Services http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs364/en/

4) US Center for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov/features/dsteenpregnancy/

DEFINITION: Number of births to women aged below twenty. Data for 1998.


1 United States 494,357 births 1998
Group of 7 countries (G7) average (profile) 98,319.33 births 1998
2 Poland 30,413 births 1998
3 Germany 29,000 births 1998
High income OECD countries average (profile) 27,622.68 births 1998
4 Canada 19,920 births 1998
5 France 17,985 births 1998
6 Japan 17,501 births 1998
7 Australia 11,849 births 1998
8 Spain 11,264 births 1998
9 Italy 11,153 births 1998
10 Hungary 9,175 births 1998
11 Portugal 7,403 births 1998
12 Slovakia 6,044 births 1998
13 Czech Republic 6,035 births 1998
14 Greece 4,183 births 1998
15 New Zealand 3,924 births 1998
16 Austria 3,275 births 1998
17 Ireland 3,138 births 1998
18 Belgium 2,975 births 1998
19 Netherlands 2,823 births 1998
20 Norway 1,607 births 1998
21 Sweden 1,605 births 1998
22 Finland 1,485 births 1998
23 Denmark 1,161 births 1998
24 Switzerland 1,092 births 1998
25 Iceland 264 births 1998
26 Luxembourg 111 births 1998


"Countries Compared by Health > Teenage pregnancy. International Statistics at NationMaster.com", UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre. Aggregates compiled by NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Health/Teenage-pregnancy

Health > Teenage pregnancy: Countries Compared Map

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