Virginia Is for (Teen) Lovers: County Level Teenage Birth Rates and Socio-Structural Spatial Processes

Ellis Logan, Pennsylvania State University

In this paper I look at the relationship between county level indicators of education, income, and proximity to abortions clinics and county level teenage birth rates in the state of Virginia. Using data compiled from multiple sources, I employ exploratory spatial data analysis as well as spatial econometric methods to investigate how these trends cluster and vary across the state. Moreover, I look at variation across time both in the relationship between teen birth rates and covariates and the specific spatial clustering. I find that teen birth rates are spatially clustered as well as many covariates in the analysis. County educational and income levels are inversely related to teen birth rates. However, clinic proximity seems unrelated. Spatial error models are favored over OLS models. Additionally, I find that spatial processes have changed between 2000 and 2010 and disproportionately affected the teen birth rates in certain regions of Virginia.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Fertility Intentions and Behavior