Teen Pregnancy

My wife, Kate, is currently interviewing Rhode Island school nurses to learn about school nurse communication with primary care physicians and how public schools and their nurses handle contraception. To help her understand the geographic context of teen pregnancy in Rhode Island, I used data collected by KidsCount to map the rates of births to teenage girls aged 15-17 and calculated linear regression trends from 2000 to 2010. As usual, I put these maps together in QGIS.

There are drastic demographic differences in pregnancy rates, with minority communities much higher than others in Rhode Island, but those communities are also decreasing teen pregnancy rates more quickly than any others. An exception from that trend here is West Warwick, at 20 births per 1000 teenage girls. However, there are pockets of impoverished children in West Warwick, so perhaps childhood poverty is a better predictor than race and ethnicity? See minority and childhood poverty maps in my Health Geography Primer for RI post.