The teen birth rate in New Jersey has dropped dramatically — 60 percent — since its peak in 1991. It is now 16.7 births per 1,000 teenage girls. That’s the fifth-lowest in the country, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
The cost to taxpayers of those births in 2010 was $208 million — far lower than it was in the past.
In the 20 years between 1991 and 2010, the public cost of teen pregnancy in New Jersey was $6.4 billion. Nationally, the cost to taxpayers was $9.4 billion in 2010.
A major factor in the drop in the birth rate and unplanned pregnancies seems to be the use of contraceptives. In 2011, 45 percent of teenagers said they have had sex; of those, 85 percent said they used a contraceptive.