In 2014, Oklahoma had the second highest (worst) teen birth rate in the nation for both 15-19 year-olds and for older teens, aged 18-19. Only Arkansas had higher birth rates for those two age groups. The good news: Oklahoma’s teen birth ranking for younger teens (aged 15-17) improved between 2013 and 2014.
Strong, coordinated, community-wide teen pregnancy prevention initiatives in Oklahoma County and Tulsa County are addressing this issue by expanding evidence-based programs in schools, teen-friendly clinic services and opportunities for involvement among a wide array of community organizations. Combined, those two counties comprised over one-third (36%) of all teen births in the state in 2014. When the teen births in their adjacent counties are included, the two metro areas represented over half of all teen births.
“Oklahoma needs a serious ‘reality check’ regarding its persistently high teen birth rates and the resulting negative costs and consequences of too-early, unprepared teen child-bearing,” says Sharon Rodine, Youth Initiatives Director at the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. “Teen pregnancy is preventable when our state and communities invest in quality, effective educational programs and health services for all young people,” she stated. “Thankfully, our two metro areas have become the ‘twin engines’ that are providing the leadership that is propelling our state forward in addressing this issue.”
For downloadable copies of current Oklahoma teen birth data and other information, check the “Fast Facts” and “Resources” sections of this website.
Did you know?
Two counties, Oklahoma and Tulsa, represent 40% of all teen births in 2012. Over half of all teen births occurred in 8 counties: Oklahoma, Tulsa, Comanche, Cleveland, Muskogee, Pottawatomie, Garfield and Creek.
Two-thirds of all teen births occured in 18 counties: Oklahoma (1,223), Tulsa (922), Comanche (196), Cleveland (193), Muskogee (136), Pottawatomie (122), Garfield (121), Creek (117), Carter (111), Canadian (110), Kay (108), LeFlore (105), Sequoyah (94), Stephens (88), Cherokee (85), McCurtain (83), Okmulgee (82) and Mayes (81) .
For maps showing the 2012 county teen birth numbers and rates in Oklahoma, check the "Fast Facts" section on this website.