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Result 1: Improved health status for New Mexicans

P002: Births to teens aged 15-19 per 1,000 females aged 15-19

Current Value

29.4 per 1,000



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Story Behind the Curve

  • Since 2012, the teen birth rate among 15-19 year-olds in New Mexico (NM) has declined by 37.2% to 29.4 per 1,000, but is still among the highest in the nation. 
  • In New Mexico, teen birth rates are highest for American Indians and Hispanics. Teens who drop out of school are more likely to become pregnant and have a child than peers who graduate. Forty-eight percent of teen mothers aged 15-19 live below the poverty level. Some reasons for higher teen parenthood in mixed urban and rural areas include lack of health insurance, increased poverty, transportation barriers, and less access to services. 
  • In the FY14-16 Strategic Plan, the teen birth rate indicator was for 15-17 year-olds. The indicator changed to 15-19 year-olds for the FY17-FY19 strategic plan as there are more 18-19 year-olds using clinical services.
  • In NM, the teen birth rate among 15-17 year olds declined to 15 per 1,000 in 2016, compared to 16.9 per 1,000 in 2015, a decrease of 11.24%. The teen birth rate in NM for 15-19 year olds declined to 29.4 per 1,000 in 2016, compared to 34.2 per 1,000 in 2015.
  • The teen birth rate declined due partly to Title X clinical services, increasing awareness of birth control methods, and where to find services and education programs with service learning and positive youth development.


  • Primary care clinics
  • Community-based clinical providers
  • Schools, after-school, and youth programs
  • Community-based organizations
  • County health councils
  • School-based health centers
  • Parent organizations
  • Policy makers
  • Centers for higher education
  • Indian Health Services
  • NM Public Education Department 
  • NM Human Services Department

What Works

  • Access to confidential, and low- or no-cost family planning services through county public health offices, community clinics, and school-based health centers.
  • Telemedicine services to increase access to birth control for high risk populations in areas with clinician shortages. 
  • Service-learning, positive youth development, and comprehensive sex education programs. 
  • Adult-teen communication programs to give adults information and skills to communicate effectively with young people about reducing risky sexual behavior.


  • Through shared-decision making, counseling increases teens’ access to birth control including the most effective contraceptive methods (implants & intrauterine devices [IUDs]).
  • Incorporate service-learning programs consisting of community-based volunteer services and guided curriculum education.
  • Promote BrdsNBz, a text-messaging system that offers teens free, confidential answers to sexual health questions in English or Spanish.
  • Increase awareness from ads on social media with information on birth control and clinic locations.

FY17 Annual Progress Summary

  • The New Mexico Family Planning Program (NM FPP) increased outreach activities and the provision of educational materials and promotional items at health fairs and community events to increase awareness of services through the clinic locator on the website.
  • NM FPP collaborated with public health offices, school based health centers, and community clinics to provide access to clinical family planning services. NM FPP contracts with schools and community organizations to provide youth development programming.
  • NM FPP continued working with clinics statewide in educational programs, such as social media campaigns, that can increase knowledge about birth control and where to find services.

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