- Associated Press - Thursday, December 18, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexican teens’ birth rates are down.

The Department of Health announced Thursday that vital records show a 10 percent drop between 2012 and 2013 for teens 15-17 years old and for teens 18-19 years old.

The department says the drop is New Mexico’s largest in the last 15 years, continuing a trend that has seen birth rates for teens 15-17 years old decline 56 percent since 1998. Meanwhile, birth rates for teens 18-19 years old dropped 36 percent.

However, New Mexico’s rates still top national rates for each age group. According to the most recent data available, New Mexico has the highest rate nationally for teens 15-19.

Health Secretary Retta Ward says that means the state is making progress in reducing teen pregnancies but still has work to do.

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