Oklahoma had the third highest teen birth rate in the United States in 2013. More than 5,000 babies were born to girls ages 15 through 19—approximately 14 per day.
In 2010, the public cost of teen childbearing in Oklahoma was $169 million.
The one-page briefs linked below explore teen pregnancy in Oklahoma, its impact on education and the economy, and policy options for state legislators to consider to prevent teen pregnancy.
Teen Pregnancy in Oklahoma: Just the Facts
While states have experienced significant declines in recent years, teen pregnancy and birth rates in the United States remain among the highest in the industrialized world. In 2013, Oklahoma had the third highest birth rate in the nation. Across the United States, roughly 1-in-4 teens will become pregnant at least once by their 20th birthday. One-in-5 births to girls ages 15 through 19 is not the teen’s first.
Teen Pregnancy in Oklahoma: Impact on Education and the Economy
Teen pregnancy and childbearing affect the economic wellbeing of teen parents, their children and the state. Having a child in adolescence makes it more difficult for young people to achieve their educational, career and other life goals and affects the future prospects of their children—at considerable cost to taxpayers.
Teen Pregnancy in Oklahoma: State Policy Options
Given the close relationship between teen pregnancy and educational achievement, economic wellbeing and child welfare, policies that affect one of these issues often influence the others as well. Taking steps to address high teen pregnancy and birth rates in Oklahoma has potential to reduce high school dropout rates, improve educational attainment, boost tax contributions through higher earnings and improve the economy overall. Reducing births to adolescents also can help strengthen families, improve child wellbeing and assist young people in achieving their goals.