3.7.2 Adolescent Birth Rate
Target 3.7: By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes
Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Custodian Organization: Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)
& United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Tier Classification: Tier II
To facilitate the implementation of the global indicator framework, all indicators are classified by the IAEG-SDGs (Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators) into three tiers on the basis of their level of methodological development and the availability of data at the global level, as follows:
Tier I: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, and data are regularly produced by countries for at least 50 per cent of countries and of the population in every region where the indicator is relevant.
Tier II: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, but data are not regularly produced by countries.
Tier III: No internationally established methodology or standards are yet available for the indicator, but methodology/standards are being (or will be) developed or tested.
Definition: Annual number of births to females aged 15-19 years per 1,000 females in the respective age group.
Concepts: The adolescent birth rate represents the risk of childbearing among females in the particular age group. The adolescent birth rate among women aged 15-19 years is also referred to as the age-specific fertility rate for women aged 15-19.
Rationale: Reducing adolescent fertility and addressing the multiple factors underlying it are essential for improving sexual and reproductive health and the social and economic well-being of adolescents. There is substantial agreement in the literature that women who become pregnant and give birth very early in their reproductive lives are subject to higher risks of complications or even death during pregnancy and birth and their children are also more vulnerable. Therefore, preventing births very early in a woman’s life is an important measure to improve maternal health and reduce infant mortality. Furthermore, women having children at an early age experience a curtailment of their opportunities for socio-economic improvement, particularly because young mothers are unlikely to keep on studying and, if they need to work, may find it especially difficult to combine family and work responsibilities. The adolescent birth rate also provides indirect evidence on access to pertinent health services since young people, and in particular unmarried adolescent women, often experience difficulties in access to sexual and reproductive health services.
Limitations: Discrepancies between the sources of data at the country level are common and the level of the adolescent birth rate depends in part on the source of the data selected. For civil registration, rates are subject to limitations which depend on the completeness of birth registration, the treatment of infants born alive but die before registration or within the first 24 hours of life, the quality of the reported information relating to age of the mother, and the inclusion of births from previous periods. The population estimates may suffer from limitations connected to age misreporting and coverage.
For survey and census data, both the numerator and denominator come from the same population. The main limitations concern age misreporting, birth omissions, misreporting the date of birth of the child, and sampling variability in the case of surveys.
With respect to estimates of the adolescent birth rate among females aged 10-14 years, comparative evidence suggests that a very small proportion of births in this age group occur to females below age 12. Other evidence based on retrospective birth history data from surveys indicates that women aged 15-19 years are less likely to first births before age 15 than women from the same birth cohort when asked five years later at ages 20–24 years.
The adolescent birth rate is commonly reported as the age-specific fertility rate for ages 15-19 years in the context of calculation of total fertility estimates. It has also been called adolescent fertility rate. A related measure is the proportion of adolescent fertility measured as the percentage of total fertility contributed by women aged 15-19.
Data Source: Data for this indicator was primarily collected from the United Nations Statistics Division’s Open SDG Data Hub. National level data from the UN Statistics Division is compiled by the respective custodian for the SDG indicator, unless otherwise noted. To learn more about the data used in this portal, visit the about page.
Data is accurate as of October 31, 2018.
3.7.2 Adolescent Birth Rate in the Sustainable Development Goals
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3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development. Significant strides have been made in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common killers associated with child and maternal mortality. Major progress has been made on increasing access to clean water and sanitation, reducing malaria, tuberculosis, polio and the spread of HIV/AIDS. However, many more efforts are needed to fully eradicate a wide range of diseases and address many different persistent and emerging health issues.
Related 3.7.2 Adolescent Birth Rate Targets
By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes