Nashville, TN – The Comptroller’s Offices of Research and Education Accountability (OREA) has updated its online map illustrating teen pregnancy rates in Tennessee.
The map is color-coded to reflect which counties have a pregnancy rate exceeding 19.5 per 1,000 females, ages 15-17. The map is based on the most current (2015) data published by the Tennessee Department of Health.
Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-1302 requires all school districts in counties with a pregnancy rate exceeding 19.5 to create and implement a family life education program. Currently, 27 Tennessee counties have rates exceeding 19.5, affecting 42 school districts.
The interactive map also includes pregnancy rates for previous years, allowing users to track trends over time.
The map is accompanied by a report that discusses the statistical instability of the rates. This is the result of calculations made with very small numbers.
When the number of pregnancies in the rate calculation is very small and the total population of the age range being used is also relatively small – both of which occur often in several Tennessee counties – the resulting rate can vary widely from one year to the next.
For example, a county may have a rate of 30 one year and a rate less than 5 the next year, based on a small number of teen pregnancies and a small population of females ages 15-17.
The report encourages the Departments of Health and Education to work together to review and identify potential changes to the state’s current policy in this area.