Christian Glatz via Flickr creative commons
Even as the rate of teen pregnancy continues to fall in San Antonio, the number of teenagers having babies in the city remains stubbornly high at more than 50 percent above the national average for teen births.
That's according to new data on teen pregnancy released Wednesday
by the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District. In 2014, according to Metro Health, women 19 years old and younger saw 2,441 births, meaning that, on average, about 47 teenagers gave birth every week in San Antonio.
According to the new data, overall teen births in the Alamo City have declined about 26 percent since 2010, which actually means the city has already surpassed the goal set by local health officials to reduce the teen birth rate by 25 percent by the year 2020. While teen birth rates across the state and country have continued to fall over the past decade, Texas still had the nation's fourth highest teen birth rate as of 2014.
While overall teen birth rates have gone down here, health officials identified one troubling trend: the rate of births among teenagers who already have at least one child has remained flat. In 2014, about 22 percent of all teen births in Bexar County were to women who were already mothers — which was about the same percentage in 2010.
Health officials estimated the costs associated with teen childbearing in San Antonio reached at least $54.2 million in 2014. “While we made progress in reducing the first teen births, we did not see a positive change in the percent of repeat teen births in the few years leading up to 2014," said Dr. Vincent Nathan, Metro Health's interim director, in a prepared statement. "This is something that we will continue to monitor and address along with our community partners."