Teenage Pregnancy, Arizona, 1986-1996

Methods and Sources

In this report, pregnancies are measured as the sum of three components: live births, fetal deaths (or stillbirths) and abortions to Arizona resident women, unless otherwise specified. It does not include spontaneous fetal losses that occur at less than 20 weeks of gestation. Induced terminations of pregnancy do not include those performed out-of-state to Arizona residents, since they are not reported.

Teens or teenagers are defined as 10-14 year old preadolescents and adolescents 15-19 years of age. Where possible, the data presented distinguish 18-19 year old teenagers from those aged 15-17 and girls under 15 years of age.

The primary source documents for the data are the certificates of live births, fetal deaths and reports of induced terminations of pregnancy filed with the Arizona Department of Health Services. In addition, this report also uses the hospital discharge information in order to estimate the average length of stay in a hospital and average charges for delivery among teenage mothers in Arizona in 1996 (This information, presented in Figures 9 and 10, was generated from the hospital discharge data base by Kurt W. Batsche).

For consistency, population denominators for Arizona's resident females, used to calculate rates, are projections from the Population Statistics Unit in the Arizona Department of Economic Security (data for 1986-1989 and 1993-1996) and the U.S. Census Bureau (data for 1980 and 1990).

Detailed population data by gender, age and county were unavailable for 1991-1992. In order to obtain the population denominators for these two years, the 1990 percentages of population breakdowns were applied to 1991 and 1992 total state population estimates published by the DES.

The counts of Arizona's females 18-19 years old originally projected by the DES for 1993-1995 were substantially lower than the 1990 census enumerations. As a result, the 1993 and 1994 rates previously published for females in this age group were higher than the 1990 rates, even if the actual number of pregnancies did not increase.

These rates were recalculated in order to better reflect temporal changes in the numerators (i.e., the annual numbers of pregnancies among females 18-19 years old). The corrected population denominators for 1992-1995, use updated population estimates produced in 1997 by Population Statistics Unit in the DES:

Estimated population of females 18-19 years old:
1992 55,057
1993 54,836
1994 54,704
1995 56.075
1996 56,243

The recalculated rates are in Tables 2, 7 and 9.

Public Health Services
Office of Health Planning, Evaluation and Statistics (OHPES)
Arizona Center for Health Statistics

For more information about this and other reports contact:
Kurt Batsche or Christopher K. Mrela, ADHS, OHPES
Phone: 602/542-7333; FAX: 602/542-1244