Teen birth rate in Maine falls, after increase in 2020

Maine’s year over year decline was the largest in the U.S.
A young mother holds her newborn in her arms.
Except for an anomaly in 2020, a declining teen birth rate has been recorded annually for Maine since at least 2009. Photo by globalmoments/iStock.

After being the only state in 2020 to see a rise in its teen birth rate, classified by the National Vital Statistics System as births by 15 to 19 year olds, Maine is among 29 states to see a decline in teen births for 2021, according to data published this week. 

Maine’s decline of 24%, from 10.6 teen births per 1,000 females to 7.8 births, was the largest decline across the nation for 2021. 

The vital statistics natality data is based on information from birth certificates and includes information for all births occurring across the U.S. 

Except for an anomaly in 2020, the NVSS has recorded a declining teen birth rate annually for Maine since at least 2009, when the state’s teen birth rate was 24.4 — meaning Maine’s teen birth rate in 2021 is a decline of 68% since 2009. 

Maine’s birth rate among 15 to 17 year olds has almost steadily declined annually since 2016, dropping 32% between 2016 (a 4.7 birth rate) and 2021 (a 3.2 birth rate). Among 18 and 19 year olds, the 2021 birth rate of 14.5 is sharply down from 29.1 in 2016, a 50% decrease.

Across the U.S. in 2021, there were 3,664,292 births by women of all ages, an increase of 1% from 2020. The national birth rate for teens, meanwhile, fell 7% in that timeframe. 

A chart showing the rates of Maine teen births over the years. The birth rate for 18 to 19 year olds was 29.1 in 2016, 24.9 in 2018, 20.9 in 2018, 18.0 in 2019, 20.8 in 2020 and 14.5 in 2021. The rate for 15 to 19 year olds was 14.7 in 2016, 13.1 in 2017, 11.1 in 2018, 9.1 in 2019, 10.6 in 2020 and 7.8 in 2021. The rate for 15 to 17 year olds was 4.7 in 2016 and 2017, 4.3 in 2018, 2.7 in 2019, 3.7 in 2020 and 3.2 in 2021.


George Harvey

George Harvey is the Multimedia Editor for The Maine Monitor. He oversees digital and newsletter production, coordinates social media content and shares the work of The Maine Monitor’s staff writers and contributors with media partners around the state. George previously worked in athletics administration, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University.
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