Industrialized and developing countries have distinctly different rates of teenage pregnancy. In developed regions, such as North America and Western Europe, teen parents tend to be unmarried and adolescent pregnancy is seen as a social issue.
By contrast, teenage parents in developing countries are often married, and their pregnancy may be welcomed by family and society. However, in these societies, early pregnancy may combine with malnutrition and poor health care to cause medical problems. A report by Save the Children found that, annually, 13 million children are born to women under age 20 worldwide. More than 90% of these births occur to women living in developing countries. Complications of pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of mortality among women between the ages of 15 and 19 in such areas, as they are the leading cause of mortality among older women.
The age of the mother is determined by the easily verified date when the pregnancy ends, not by the estimated date of conception. Consequently, the statistics do not include women who became pregnant at least shortly before their 20th birthdays, but whose pregnancies ended on or after their 20th birthdays.
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