The number of teen pregnancies in Franklin County for children 15 to 17 years old has declined in recent years.

In 2012, the latest data available, there were 30 pregnancies for children 15 to 17 years old.

Since 1990, the highest number of pregnancies for 15- to 17-year-olds in Franklin County occurred in 1997 when there were 70, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Teenage pregnancies for that age group in other years were 2007, 38; 2008, 49; 2009, 42; 2010, 34; and 2011, 40.

The number of abortions for 15- to 17-year-olds in Franklin County has remained the same in recent years. In 2012, there were three abortions in the age group, which is the same number there were in 2010 and 2011.

Since 1990, the highest number of abortions for the 15- to 17-year-old age group in Franklin County occurred in 1991, when there were 14, according to state department of health statistics.

For all age groups in Franklin County, there were a total of 65 abortions in 2012 compared to 181 in 1991 and 95 in 2011, statistics show.

Nationally, 305,388 babies were born to mothers 15 to 19 years old in 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That is a live birth rate of 29.4 per 1,000 females in this age group, the CDC states. This is a record low for U.S. teens in this age group and a 6 percent drop from 2011, according to the agency.

The reasons for the declines are unclear, but it could be that teens are less sexually active and more could be using birth control, the CDC website states. Black and Hispanic teens accounted for 57 percent of the teen birth.

Teen pregnancy and childbirth in 2011 cost taxpayers at least $9.4 billion for expenses such as “increased health care and foster care, increased incarceration rates among children of teen parents, and lost tax revenue because of lower educational attainment and income among teen mothers,” the CDC website states.

Only about 50 percent of teen mothers graduated high school by 22 compared to about 90 percent of other teens who had not given birth during adolescence, according to the CDC.

Moreover, children of teen mothers are more likely to drop out, have mental health problems, be incarcerated during adolescence or be teen parents themselves, the agency says.