Data: Oklahoma’s teen birth rate still second-highest in US

TULSA, Okla. – New data figures show Oklahoma’s teen birth rate remained second-highest in the country for the third year in a row in 2016.

The Oklahoma Department of Health and the National Center for Health Statistics say the state’s rate of about 33 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19 was second only to Arkansas.

But the Tulsa World reports that the figures also show Oklahoma’s teen birth rate dropped by nearly 30 percent from 2012 to 2016.

Sharla Owens is the executive director of the nonprofit Tulsa Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnany. She says the numbers are cause for celebration because communities like Tulsa “have made tremendous progress.”

Tulsa County had a more than 53 percent drop in the teen birth rate from 1991 to 2016.