Adolescent fertility rate (births per 1 000 women aged 15-19 years)

Indicator name
(English / Spanish)
Adolescent fertility rate (births per 1 000 women aged 15-19 years)
Tasa de fecundidad en adolescentes (nacimientos por 1 000 mujeres de 15 a 19 años)
Indicator ID SFR_Y15_19
Domain Sociodemographic
Subdomain Demographic

The average number of births to women aged 15-19 for every 1 000 women in this age group. It is also known as the age-specific fertility rate for women ages 15-19.

Unit Births by woman
Measure Rate
Type of statistics Corrected/Predicted

Reducing adolescent fertility and addressing the multiple underlying factors are essential to improving adolescent girls' sexual and reproductive health and social and economic well-being. There is substantial agreement in the literature of gender implications that women who become pregnant and give birth very early in their reproductive life are at increased risk of complications or even death during pregnancy and delivery, and their children are also vulnerable. Therefore, preventing childbirth very early in a woman's life is an important measure to improve maternal health and to reduce infant mortality.

In addition, women who have children at an early age experience a reduction in their opportunities for socioeconomic improvement, in particular because young mothers are unlikely to continue studying and, if they need to work, they may find it especially difficult to combine family and work responsibilities.

The adolescent fertility rate also provides indirect evidence of access to relevant health services, as young people, and particularly unmarried adolescent girls, often experience difficulties in accessing sexual and reproductive health services.

Method of estimation

The teen birth rate is calculated as a ratio. The numerator is the number of live births of women aged 15-19 years and the denominator is an estimate of the exposure to maternity of women aged 15-19 years.

For countries with a population greater than 90 thousand inhabitants, the figures are estimates from the United Nations, based on data that represent values estimated as of July 1st, obtained by linear interpolation of the corresponding five-year population projections of the United Nations, using the medium-variant projections.

For countries with less than 90 thousand inhabitants, the figures are estimates from the US Census Bureau International Database. The US Census Bureau population projections are based on the cohort component method.

Estimation method for global and regional aggregates:

The age-specific fertility rates for the World Population Prospects (WPP) are based on the reconstruction of the population at the country level and provide a best estimate based on all available demographic information. WPP potentially considers as many types and sources of empirical estimates as possible (including retrospective birth histories, direct and indirect fertility estimates) and the final estimates are derived to ensure the greatest possible internal consistency with all other demographic components and intercensal cohorts listed in successive censuses.

Interpretation example

In 2018, the adolescent fertility rate in country A was 20.7 per 1 000 adolescent women, that is, it is estimated that there were 21 births for every 1 000 women between the ages of 15 and 19 in that year.


The international comparability of this indicator may be affected by the periodicity of population censuses and demographic surveys. Population censuses are generally carried out every 10 years and surveys have a frequency that varies between different countries, the sampling error also influences quality. The value of the indicator also depends on the adequate coverage of the national civil registration system (greater than 90%), and the fact that deaths and births are registered in the health information system in a timely manner, and on the integrity of the national registry.

Estimated figures of this indicator may differ from national statistics due to factors such as methodological differences, for example, to produce population estimates and projections.

Data source

For countries with a population greater than 90 thousand inhabitants: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. World Population Prospects. Available from:

For countries with a population better than 90 thousand inhabitants: Census Bureau of the United States of America. International database. Available from:

PAHO update periodicity Annual
Link to SDG


PAHO Contact Andrea Gerger,
Update date August 13, 2021