Teenage pregnancy in Philippines declines in past five years

MANILA, Jan. 23 (Xinhua): Teenage pregnancy among girls aged 15 to 19 in the Philippines declined to 5.4 per cent in 2022 from 8.6 per cent in 2017, according to Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data released at the weekend.

The data showed that teenage pregnancy was lower in urban areas at 4.8 percent than in rural areas at 6.1 percent. The 19-year-olds had the highest pregnancy percentage.

In terms of educational attainment, teenage pregnancy was most common among those with primary education, standing at 19.1 percent. The percentage of teenage pregnancy decreases as educational attainment increases.

The Philippines has been grappling with teenage pregnancy over the past decade, which is a "national social emergency". Some officials had warned that adolescent birth rates had hovered at a level that merited "national concern".

According to official data, teenage pregnancy has a mortality rate two to five times higher than adults. The neonatal death rate of babies born to young mothers are three times higher than that of babies born to mothers aged 25 to 29.

Meanwhile, this social problem could also trap a large cross-section of families in perpetual cycle of intergenerational poverty, officials warned. - Xinhua

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