Dramatic drop led to an overall 50 percent decrease
In early 2008, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, United Way of Greater Milwaukee, the City of Milwaukee Health Department, and the Center for Urban Population Health set an ambitious goal: To reduce the teen birth rate in the city of Milwaukee 46 percent by 2015.
On October 23, 2013, Mayor Barrett and the city’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative, led by United Way, announced that it has met – and surpassed – its goal, three years early
“What these rates mean today is that fewer young women in Milwaukee are getting pregnant and more teens are going to have a better chance of finishing high school and achieving their life goals,” said Commissioner of Health Bevan K. Baker, co-chair of the United Way of Greater Milwaukee Teen Pregnancy Prevention Oversight Committee alongside Elizabeth Brenner, president and publisher of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
For the sixth year in a row Milwaukee has recorded a decrease in the teen birth rate.
City of Milwaukee Health Department data show that in 2012 there were 25.7 births per 1,000 females ages 15 to 17, a decrease from 52.0 in 2006.
The 2012 rate bested the 2015 goal of 30 births per 1,000 females ages 15 to 17.
Compared to 2006, the 2012 birth rate for 15- to 17-year-olds in Milwaukee has dropped by 50 percent overall, by 55 percent for Blacks, by 56 percent for Hispanics, and by 47 percent for Whites.
Although Hispanic girls and Black girls remain three to four times more likely than White girls to give birth as teens, 2012 showed significant declines in both the Hispanic and the Black groups.
A particularly bright spot in the trends is the teen pregnancy rate for Black 15- to 17-year-olds in Milwaukee, which decreased by a remarkable 31 percent from 2011 to 2012.
The City’s decline in teen pregnancy rates is proceeding at a more rapid rate than the decline nationally, according to the latest figures available.
Between 2009 and 2010, the national 15- to 17-year-old teen birth rate decreased 11.7 percent; during that same period, Milwaukee’s rate decreased 13.2 percent.
“This news is about so much more than a number,” said Nicole Angresano, vice president of community impact at United Way of Greater Milwaukee.
“This number represents all the young people who have chosen to forgo parenthood until adulthood.”
The decline is attributed to the continuation of an unprecedented, all-handson- deck approach adopted by the Milwaukee community since the goal of 30 births per 1,000 by 2015 was set.
The effort is led by the United Way of Greater Milwaukee’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative, which brought together a diverse collaborative of community stakeholders that included local businesses, media outlets, health care providers, Milwaukee Public Schools, and community and faith-based organizations.