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Fam Plann Perspect. 1986 Sep-Oct;18(5):221-6.

Estimating the public costs of teenage childbearing.

Abstract

A formula for making national, state and local estimates of the cost to the public of teenage childbearing is derived from a review of 12 studies. The formula is then applied to U.S. data. The calculations yield a single-year cost for 1985 of $16.65 billion paid through three programs--Aid to Families with Dependent Children, food stamps and Medicaid--for women who first gave birth as teenagers. The calculations also show that the public will pay an average of $13,902 over the next 20 years for the family begun by each first birth to a teenager in 1985 and $5.16 billion over the same period for the families of all teenagers experiencing a first birth in 1985. If all teenage births were delayed until the mother was 20 or older, the potential savings to the public would be $5,560 for each birth delayed and $2.06 billion for the entire cohort of teenagers who would otherwise have had a first birth in 1985.

PIP:

Estimates of public outlays for teenage childbearing often afftract a great deal of attention in the US media, at both the national and the local level. Such estimates are time-consuming but not difficult to calculate, and enough is known about how to make them that such figures should become readily available to policy-makers and program-planners throughout the USA. A formula for making national, state and local estimates of the cost to the public of teenage childbearing is derived from a review of 12 studies. The formula is then applied to US data. The calculations yield a single-year cost for 1985 of US$16.65 billion paid through 3 programs--Aid to Families with Dependent Children, food stamps and Medicaid--for women who 1st gave birth as teenagers. The calculations also show that the public will pay an average of US$13,902 over the next 20 years for the family begun by each 1st birth to a teenager in 1985 and US$5.16 billion over the same period for the families of all teenagers experienceing a 1st birth in 1985. If all teenage births were delayed until the mother was 20 or older, the potential savings to the public would be US$5560 for each birth delayed and $2.06 billion for the entire cohort of teenagers who would otherwise have had a 1st birth in 1985.

PMID:
3542558
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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