Adolescent pregnancies are a global problem that occurs in high, middle, and low-income countries, so in this article, you will find out which are the 15 countries with the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the world in 2018.
Having kids is a responsibility not to be taken lightly no matter what age you are. The high teenage pregnancy rates in the world is a concerning issue for all members of one society. We have already brought this topic up in 11 Countries with the Highest Teenage Pregnancy Rates in the World. Even though the teenage pregnancy statistics worldwide have declined in the last few years, it is still considered a health issue. Adolescent pregnancies, especially unintended pregnancies, might carry a greater risk of adverse consequences as much as for the young mother as for the child. Teen pregnancies can influence women’s education prospects, economic opportunities, health as well as whole family. It is a fact that teenage pregnancy is a significant contributor to school dropout rates among girls. In developing countries with limited resources, pregnancy and childbirth among young women can also pose challenges to their physical well-being. Adolescent pregnancy remains a major contributor to maternal and child mortality. Pregnancy and childbirth complications are the leading cause of death among 15 to 19-year-old girls globally. Adolescent mothers face higher risks of eclampsia, puerperal endometritis, and systemic infections than adult women.
Though the country of origin is not a determining fact, teen pregnancies occur depending on several factors. Some of them are customs and traditions that lead to early marriage, lack of education and information about reproductive sexual health including lack of access to tools that prevent pregnancy, etc. Also, the modern contraceptive use among adolescents is generally low and decreases with economic status. This is where parents play a powerful role in helping adolescents make healthy decisions about sex, sexuality, and relationships. As per studies, from 13.1 teenage mothers who give birth annually all over the world, 680 000 belong to developed countries. Teenage pregnancy statistics worldwide in 2016 revealed that the USA has the highest teenage pregnancy rate of all developed countries. In the article 10 States with the Highest Teenage Pregnancy Rates in America, a breakdown of statistics per state is shown. Moreover, according to the United Nations Population Fund UNFPA, today, countries in Africa have the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the world. In contradiction with the pregnancy rates in Europe which are certainly the lowest in the world. However, that doesn’t mean that it is a nonexisting problem in this continent, data reveal that the highest pregnancy rate in Europe is 43 teenage pregnancies per 1000 teenagers and belongs to Bulgaria. On the other hand, the lowest teenage pregnancy rate in the world is found in Denmark with 2 pregnancies per 1000 teenagers.
For the present article, 15 countries with the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the world in 2018 we have gathered the most recent information provided by UNICEF in order to take a deeper look into this relevant matter that concerns all of us. Luckily, we managed to find the latest data published this year. Besides highest teenage pregnancy rates by the country information, in this report, you can read about lowest teenage pregnancy rates in the world as well. The same goes for teenage pregnancy rates in developed countries. As for our today’s list, we ranked the countries according to the number of pregnancies per 1000 teenagers. The countries with the highest number of teenage pregnancies are ranked higher on the list.
123 teenage pregnancies among 1000 teenagers
Nigeria is our 15th country with the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the world in 2018. In some societies in Nigeria, early marriage and traditional gender roles are important factors when it comes to the rate of teenage pregnancy. The average marriage age differs from state to state and in states where teenage marriages are common the levels of teenage pregnancies are higher. In Nigeria, pregnancy, and motherhood mark the end of school attendance, and statistics reveal that by the age of 16, 21% of female adolescents are either pregnant or have given birth.
121 teenage pregnancies among 1000 teenagers
Adolescent pregnancy constitutes a public health problem in Cameroon: 12% and 9.3% of all deliveries at the University Teaching Hospital (CHU) and Central Hospital Yaoundé respectively, are teenage. Contraceptives are still taboo in most communities, and the poverty level is still very high.
13. Sierra Leone
131 teenage pregnancies among 1000 teenagers
The main causes cited by the UNICEF are the misconceptions about contraceptives that continue to reflect lack of proper education on reproductive health and contraception, extreme poverty and religious beliefs. This is a country where early marriage is supported by traditional practice, according to a 2008 survey by the World Health Organization where 70% of teenage girls in Sierra Leone are married.
12. Democratic Republic of Congo
135 teenage pregnancies among 1000 teenagers
High levels of poverty and the practice of bride price also contribute to high child marriage rates in this country, where 37% of girls are married before their 18th birthday, making girls become part of the financial settlement.
145 teenage pregnancies among 1000 teenagers
Determinants of adolescent pregnancy in this country are lack of access to appropriate sexual and reproductive health information and services (particularly contraceptives), then poverty, which leads some girls to offer sex in exchange for money, goods, and services, and finally, social and cultural determinants, such as gender inequality, child marriage, and lack of opportunities for adolescents, particularly for those living in rural areas.
And now, let’s see the top ten countries with highest teenage pregnancy rates.
147 teenage pregnancies among 1000 teenagers
We are continuing with Liberia where the 4-year long civil war ended in 2003 leaving behind major social and psychological problems, with children being especially affected. Liberia is listed as one of the poorest countries in the world. Teenage pregnancy is on the rise in this country what is fast becoming a national crisis with far-reaching effects.
148 teenage pregnancies among 1000 teenagers
Determinant facts when it comes to teenage pregnancy rates in this country are cultural issues. It is a society where people view childbearing as a woman’s main value and believe contraception devalues a woman. Sexual abuse and lack of education are the main causes of the high rates.
154 teenage pregnancies among 1000 teenagers
The country’s poverty and malnutrition rates are alarming. 55 percent of the Guinean population live below the poverty line especially in rural areas, and the 2014 Ebola outbreak has made already vulnerable communities more insecure.
7. South Sudan
158 teenage pregnancies among 1000 teenagers
This number means that one-third of South Sudanese girls start childbearing when they are 15. In South Sudan, teenage girls are more likely to be married than be in school. Lack of money for school fees apparently led to many girls dropping out of school and sometimes opting instead for marriage. The Government of South Sudan has been criticized for not budgeting enough to education.
166 teenage pregnancies among 1000 teenagers
The problem of adolescent pregnancy is still closely associated with child marriage. Early pregnancy is a major contributor to the high levels of maternal mortality in Mozambique. In a country where the risk of death from pregnancy-related causes is very high, 40% of women become pregnant before the age of 20.
178 teenage pregnancies among 1000 teenagers
In Mali, the majority of the population is under 25 years old and over 40% of all girls between 15 and 19 years old are pregnant or have already become mothers. 55% of women marry before they reach adulthood. About 40% have children. Less than 8% of married Malian adolescents use contraceptives, according to UNFPA, causing many young people leave school at a young age.
191 teenage pregnancies among 1000 teenagers
Angola has a young population of approximately 17 million inhabitants. The proportion of adolescent pregnancy is significantly greater in rural areas. Wealth is concentrated in certain population groups, and the country is still rated at very low levels in most global socioeconomic development and health measures.
203 teenage pregnancies among 1000 teenagers
The children under 18 make up 57% of Chad’s 11.3 million population. Chad has the third highest rate of child marriage in the world, 68% of girls are married as children which means more than one in three girls is married before the age of 15. Moreover, this practice is prevalent in both wealthy and less wealthy households. It is expected that the number of girls giving birth before the age of 15 will increase by more than 1 million by 2030 unless urgent action is taken.
210 teenage pregnancies among 1000 teenagers
The leading causes of high rates of teenage pregnancy in this country are poverty and sexual abuse, as well as cultural and religious beliefs. Teenage pregnancy rates vary greatly between the northern and southern zones and rural areas. Despite the social and economic implications, pregnant teenagers face other dangers such as pregnancy complications, unsafe abortion, poor antenatal care, etc.
1. The Central African Republic
229 teenage pregnancies among 1000 teenagers
This number of teenage pregnancies makes the Central African Republic the number one on our list of the 15 countries with the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the world in 2018. The teenage pregnancy rate is over 45%. The country has the second lowest GDP in the world, along with the second highest rate of child marriage. Families often see child marriage as a way to ensure the safety of their daughters who otherwise may be at risk of sexual harassment and violence.