Fewer high school students are having sex these days, and more are using condoms. The teen birth rate has hit a record low.
More young people are finishing high school, too, and more little kids are being read to, according to the latest government snapshot on the well-being of the nation's children. It's good news on a number of key wellness indicators, experts said of the report being released Friday.
"The implications for the population are quite positive in terms of their health and their well-being," said Edward Sondik, director of the National Center for Health Statistics. "The lower figure on teens having sex means the risk of sexually transmitted diseases is lower."
In 2005, 47 percent of high school students - 6.7 million - reported having had sexual intercourse, down from 54 percent in 1991. The rate of those who reported having had sex has remained the same since 2003.
Of those who had sex during a three-month period in 2005, 63 percent - about 9 million - used condoms. That's up from 46 percent in 1991.
The teen birth rate, the report said, was 21 per 1,000 young women ages 15-17 in 2005 - an all-time low. It was down from 39 births per 1,000 teens in 1991. Read More.