Puff the Magic Statistics

13 07 2007

The state of teenage America is getting better, if you want to believe this report.


The birth rate in the 15-19 age group was 40 per 1,000 in 2005, also down sharply from the previous decade.

Except 18- and 19-year olds are legal adults. I don’t consider a 19-year old woman who gives birth to be a “social problem,” and certainly not in the same league as a 15-year old teenage girl who does the same.

“I think the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the efforts in the ’80s and ’90s had a lot to do with that,” Wagoner said of the improved numbers on teen sex, condoms and adolescent births.

“We need to encourage young teens to delay sexual initiation and we need to make sure they get all the information they need about condoms and birth control,” he said.

I hate to inform them, but any STD that anyone under the age of 18 could contract, could also be contracted by anyone over 18.

_The percentage of children covered by health insurance decreased slightly. In 2005, 89 percent of children had health insurance coverage at some point during the year, down from 90 percent the previous year.

Usually, when MSM reports about the ever-increasing number of Americans without health insurance, most of the increase is attributable to increasing legal and illegal immigration, while some of it is due to the rotten job market and economy, and the fact that a greater and greater percentage of American workers that are employed don’t have health insurance as part of their compensation. In the case of children, I attribute the slight decline to the latter.

_More youngsters are getting reading time. Sixty percent of children ages 3-5 (and not in kindergarten) were read to daily by a family member in 2005, up from 53 percent in 1993.

Fine, but what does this have to do with the price of bread? If we’re supposed to think that merely being read to helps a child learn how to read for him or her self, then we’re mistaken. Literacy is not a spectator sport; like any real one, getting good at it requires intense, systematic practice, drills and repetition.

_More young people are completing high school. In 2005, 88 percent of young adults had finished high school – up from 84 percent in 1980.

Grain of salt. It was probably harder to graduate from high school in 1980 than it is today. All this means is that more people are jumping over the lowered bar.

Any good report about the state of teenage America should take into account racial demographics and IQ.



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