Decades of Progress Include Some Points of Concern for SC's Teen Birth Rate

Though South Carolina’s teen birth rate has decreased by 70% since peaking in 1991, a slight 1% increase from 2017 to 2018 reflects the need to be proactive about reaching adolescents consistently across demographics. South Carolina also ranks 19th in the nation for teen births, ages 15-19. Want to know about the teen birth rate in your county? Check out our South Carolina County Data Map.  

Every 151 minutes a teen gives birth in South Carolina. 

Through our work with parents, trusted adults and youth serving professionals, Fact Forward empowers adolescents to make healthy reproductive health choices. When well-equipped parents and trusted adults talk with adolescents about sex, early and often, they are much more likely to delay sex and to use contraception when they do become sexually active. 

Adolescents need more information about preventing STIs and HIV. 

STI and HIV rates remain an area of concern. In 2018, South Carolina ranked in the top 10 nationally for rates ofChlamydia and Gonorrhea. From 2017-2018, South Carolina saw an 11% increase in the rate for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, while HIV prevalence saw a 5% decrease (15-19 year olds, per 100,000 population). Want to know about the STI and STD rates in your county? Check out our South Carolina County Data Map. You can also email us at for statewide STD and STI rates.

Professionals and community advocates can lead with the facts. 

Fact Forward trains youth-serving professionals in programs that emphasize abstinence as well as knowledge about effective forms of birth control and condom use among sexually active teens. This is critical to not only preventing teen pregnancy, but also STIs and HIV. Data updates ensure professionals can reach our most vulnerable adolescents. 

Keep Talking! 

Reaching parents and trusted adults is very important, especially during months like October whenprofessionals in the field highlight national “Let’s Talk Month.” Find more details about this public awareness campaign and events sponsored by Fact Forward here -  

Beth De Santis, Fact Forward CEO, says, “While we never want to overshadow the state’s decades of progress, we should use the slight uptick in the teen birth rate to motivate us as we continue outreach across the state and beyond.  Fact Forward is committed to supporting professionals and parents, making sure South Carolina's youth get effective health education and increased access to reproductive health services. With 3,480 births to teens in 2018 and a continual increase in STI rates, we must continue to help professionals and parents reach our most vulnerable adolescents.”