It turns out that topping various polls as the most religious state in the United States doesn’t translate into being the least likely to have pregnant teens. In fact a recently study has found that Mississippi has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the state, adding nearly 55 births for every 1,000 teens between the ages of 15 to 19 who are sexually active.
In a bit of good news that’s the lowest rate of teen pregnancies Mississippi has witnessed since it started keeping records in 1940 and the survey did find that teen births actually fell in the state from 2007 through 2010. In fact the only three states that didn’t see decreases were Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia.
To put the states high teen birth rate into perspective, New Hampshire witnesses just 16 teen births per 1,000.
On the other hand the overall teen pregnancy rate has dropped by 44% in the United States since 1991, leading to 3.4 million fewer babies being born.
Experts believe that a bad economy, uncertain times and better efforts to offer pregnancy prevention programs have led to the decline in teen pregnancies but the problem is far from corrected.
In the meantime shows such as MTV’s Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant continue to push the teen pregnancy craze onto teenage girls, some of whom have admitted to getting pregnant at a young age in an attempt to earn a spot on the popular reality TV series.
Mississippi has also been found to be the fattest state which means teens are not only getting pregnant, they are endangering their unborn child thanks to diabetes and other risk factors associated with obesity.