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— Birth rates for teen moms have been falling since 1991 and hit yet another historic low. The number of babies born to teens last year — about 305,000 — is less than half the peak of nearly 645,000 in 1970.

The teen birth rate has been cut in half since 1991, said Bill Albert of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, who called it a “stunning turnaround.”

Experts attribute that decline to a range of factors, including less sex and more use of contraception.

Another report highlight: About 33 percent of births last year were delivered through Cesarean section — a rate unchanged from the previous two years.

C-sections are sometimes medically necessary. But health officials believe many are done out of convenience or unwarranted caution, and in the 1980s set a goal of keeping the national rate at 15 percent.

The C-section rate had been rising steadily since 1996, until it dropped slightly in 2010.

Even if the C-section rate has peaked, it’s still too high — particularly in certain states, Emory’s Hogue said. For example, last year 40 percent of births were C-sections in Louisiana, and more than 38 percent in New Jersey, Mississippi and Florida, the report found.

“There’s a lot of room for improvement,” she said.



CDC report: