ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – The teen birth rate in the United States hit a historic low last year, reports Live Science.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that in 2013 the birth rate among 15- to 19-year-olds was 26.6 births per 1,000 teenagers. That is below the previous low, set in 2012, of 29.4 births per 1,000 teens.

The 2013 rate turns out to be less than than one-third of the highest rate, reached in 1957, of 96.3 births per 1,000 teens, says the report.

“The widespread significant declines in teen childbearing that began after 1991 have intensified in recent years,”said the CDC. The researchers say teen behavior has changed over the years, with teens engaging in less sexual activity and when they do, they are more likely to use contraception.

The decline in teen birth rates vary among different for racial and ethnic groups. The largest declines in birth rates between 1991 and 2012, was seen among Black teens, and the steepest decline in birth rates between 2007 and 2012 was seen among Hispanic teens.

Despite the good news, there were still 277,749 children born to teen mothers last year. About 75,000, or a quarter of those births were to younger teenagers, ages 15 to 17, who are not legally recognized as adults and are still in high school.

The CDC says the United States still has one of the highest rates of teen births in developed countries.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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