The report makes clear that lower educational outcomes associated with teen mothers and their children limit the overall skill levels of the state’s workforce. Mississippi’s economic health will be impacted until the teen birth rate declines.
The report also suggests a variety of ways that policymakers, teens, schools, and parents can help reduce the teen birth rate. These solutions include: “abstinence-plus” sex education in public schools that is evidence-based and medically accurate; access to school nurses and youth-friendly preventive health services; access to educational opportunities and youth employment; and helping parents succeed in their role as sex educators.
One of the goals of this report is to show that teen pregnancy impacts every person in every community. More importantly, Mississippi doesn’t have to be the state with the highest teen birth rate. Key steps can be taken to reduce the teen birth rate in Mississippi. Now is the time for action.
Blueprint Mississippi has named reducing teen births as a top recommendation to cultivate a more robust workforce in Mississippi. Blueprint Mississippi is a partnership between the Mississippi Economic Council, Momentum Mississippi, and the Mississippi Partnership for Economic Development.
- Fact Sheet: Economic Impact of Teen Births in Mississippi (Mississippi Economic Policy Center)
Op-Eds & News About Report
- “Pregnancy by Teens Has Big Costs,” by The Cleveland Current (September 2011)
- “Editorial: Teen Moms: Enormous Social Costs,” by The Clarion Ledger (September 2011)
- “High Cost of Teen Pregnancy,” radio interview with Jamie Holcomb of Women’s Fund and Sarah Welker of Mississippi Economic Policy Center. Mississippi Edition of Mississippi Public Broadcasting (September 13, 2011)
- ”Editorial: Staggering Cost of Teen Births,” The Commercial Appeal, (September 2011)
- “Teen Births Cost Miss. $154M, Study Finds,” CBS The Early Show, (September 2011)
- “Study Puts Cost of Teen Births at $154.9M: Proponents of Sex Ed Classes Cite Economic Impact,“ The Commercial Appeal, (September 2011)
- “Teen Births Cost Millions to Miss. Taxpayers, Study Shows,“ The Christian Post, (September 2011)
- “Business Blog: Teen Pregnancies Cost Miss. $154 Mill a Year,” Mississippi Business Journal (September 2011)
- “Teen Pregnancy Costs State Nearly $155 Million in a Year,” Jezebel (national blog) (September 2011)
- “Study: Teen Births Cost Miss. $154.9 Million in ’09,” Associated Press (September 2011)
- “Teen Births Cost Mississippi $155 Million Every Year,” interview with Mississippi First (a grantee) and Women’s Fund staff. Mississippi Public Broadcasting (September 2011)
- “Teen Moms Costly to State,” by The Clarion Ledger (September 2011)
- “Opinion Editorial: Sex Ed Should be Medically Accurate,” by Board Member Katie McClendon, PharmD, Dr. Cris Glick, Dr. Aaron Shirley, and Dr. Helen Barnes The Clarion Ledger (August 2011)