The Progress of Nations: The Industrial World

Japan has lowest teen birth rate

Japan has the lowest rates of teenage births in the industrialized world, closely followed by Switzerland and the Netherlands.

The average number of births for every 1,000 girls aged 15 to 19 is approximately 15 in the countries of the European Union. The United States – with 64 births per year for every 1,000 girls aged 15 to 19 – has the highest rates.

Teen pregnancy has far-reaching consequences both for mother and child. Mothers face higher risks of complications in childbirth and their infants are at greater risk of prematurity, low birth weight, death in the first year of life, and developmental problems.

Becoming pregnant at too young an age can distort a young woman's own development, limiting education and life-opportunities. For the infants born to teenage mothers, the years of early childhood may be marked by poverty, poor care, and instability, which help to perpetuate problems from one generation to the next.

Teenage birth league

Number of births per 1,000 women aged 15-19,1990-1995

Fertility rateFertility rate
Japan 4Belarus 28
Switzerland 5Poland 28
Netherlands 7Iceland 29
France 9Slovenia 30
Italy 9Croatia 32
Belgium 10Lithuania 32
Denmark 10Bosnia/Herz. 33
Malta 12United Kingdom 33
Spain 12Estonia 34
Finland 13Latvia 35
Germany 13New Zealand 35
Luxembourg 13Russian Fed. 37
Sweden 13Moldova 38
Albania 14Hungary 41
Ireland 16Romania 41
Norway 19TFYR Macedonia 41
Israel 20Ukraine 43
Australia 21Yugoslavia 43
Greece 22Slovakia 44
Austria 23Czech Rep. 46
Portugal 25Bulgaria 59
Canada 27United States 64

SOURCE United Nations Population Division, World Population Prospects: The 1994 Revision, 1994.

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