Fresh US research about the cost of teenage births shows;
Most of the costs in 2004 — $8.6 billion — were incurred by mothers 17 and younger. Compared with women who have a first child at 20 or 21, those girls are more than twice as likely to have a child placed in foster care, to be reported for child abuse or neglect, and to have a son sent to prison. Their kids are far more likely to drop out of high school and their daughters to become teen mothers themselves, the report states.
Just looking at one aspect of that, the greater likelihood of a son going to prison, consider the Maori rate of teenage births for under-eighteens in 2000 (the last year I have to hand);
There were 670 births to Maori compared to 505 to non-Maori giving a birthrate per 1,000 of 22.7 to Maori and 4.9 to non-Maori.
This goes some way to explaining why Maori make up around half of our prison population.
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