Teenage childbearing: how much does it cost? A guide to determining the local costs of teenage childbearing.
In the US, over 1 million teenage women become pregnant annually. Each year, almost 500,000 teen women have babies; nearly 10,000 of these mothers are under the age of 15. Over half of the families receiving public assistance were begun when the mother was a teenager. In 1985, the US spent more than $16 billion to support families that were begun when the mother was a teenager. This handbook is designed to help readers estimate the cost of teenage childbearing in their own state, city, or town. Section A is an introduction to estimating the public costs of teenage pregnancy. It defines terms, summarizes the Center for Population Option's national study on the costs of teenage childbearing, and discusses the assumptions that were used. Section B addresses collecting the data needed for a study, and provides detailed worksheets and instructions for determining costs for any jurisdiction. A Lotus 1-2-3 program of the worksheets is available separately. Section C offers suggestions for using this data. A glossary and reference section follow.