Taxpayer Cost of Teen Births Report

The Women’s Foundation of Mississippi released a report describing the economic costs of teen births for every county in Mississippi. These taxpayer costs, which were calculated for the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi by the Mississippi Economic Policy Center, can be attributed primarily to the lost tax revenue from lower wages among teen parents and their children, incarceration costs of sons of teen parents, and foster care costs.

DOWNLOAD REPORT - Taxpayer Cost of Tenn BirthsThe 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.

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