MS teen pregnancies cost taxpayers $137 million in 2010, study says


STOP RIGHT THERE: Teen pregnancies cost Mississippi taxpayers $137 million in 2010.

By Steve Wilson | Mississippi Watchdog

Mississippi teen pregnancies cost state taxpayers $137 million in 2010, the last year numbers were available, according to a study by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unwanted Pregnancy.

According to the study “Counting It Up: The Public Costs of Teen Childbearing,” 159,653 teen pregnancies in Mississippi cost state and local governments $4 billion from 1991-2010.

There’s some good news in the numbers. The teen birth rate in Mississippi shrank 36 percent from 1991 to 2010, saving taxpayers about in $118 million in 2010 alone.

The study took into account costs associated with public health care and an increased risk of participation in child welfare programs. Also figuring in the study were incarceration costs and lost earnings, as well as spending associated with adolescent and young adult children of teen pregnancies.

According to the study, teen pregnancies nationally cost $9.4 billion for all levels of government in 2010. That figure would buy:

FIVE FOR FIGHTING: For the money the U.S. spent on teen pregnancies in 2010, the Department of Defense could’ve bought five Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers like the USS Dewey.

Contact Steve Wilson at

Get regular updates on Mississippi through our Facebook or Twitter accounts