Teen Pregnancy on the Rise
updated 06/01/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 06/01/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Even with the unusual advantages of a well-off family, Bristol Palin is, in some respects, a perfect example of the new trend in teenage pregnancy. After years of decline—from 1990 to 2004 the teen pregnancy rate in the United States dropped 38 percent—the numbers have lately started to head up again. Between 2005 to 2007 the teen birthrate increased 5 percent. (In 2006 Alaska led the nation with a 19 percent jump.) The reasons for the increase? Bill Albert of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy points to several possible factors, including evidence that teens these days are less concerned about sexually transmitted diseases. Studies suggest that teens are having more sex and using less contraception, says Albert, who adds, "Success at reducing teen birthrates may have led to complacency."