LOS ANGELES (AP) — Year after year, California’s teen birth rates have dipped lower and lower — a positive development state health officials attribute to a variety of programs to prevent kids from having kids.

Teen births across the state were down to 47,811 in 2009 from 53,393 in 2007. The state’s teen birth rate of 32.1 per 1,000 females in 2009, ages 15 to 19.

That’s less than half of what it was 1991 when the figure peaked at 70.9, and is lower than the national rate of 41.5.

In part, state health officials attribute the decline to better use of contraception among boys and girls, more teens delaying first sexual experiences and local programs that target teens by age, ethnicity, race and income levels.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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