Kit Steinkellner
June 01, 2015 6:00 am

Time just informed us that, based on a number of stats that have recently come in about U.S. teenagers, the future looks bright for the American teen. Let’s take a look at the findings:

Bullying is on the way down

According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, bullying among kids ages 12 to 18 dropped to 22% in 2013 (that’s a HUGE drop from the 28-32% that was reported in all other survey years since 2005). Also good news: only 6.9% of teens reported being cyberbullied, which is down from the 9% reported in 2011. Of course, we want to see those stats go down to 0%, but we are definitely excited to see the numbers moving in the right direction.

Teens are smoking and drinking less

The latest U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Youth Risk Behavior Survey revealed that the high school smoking rate has dropped to 15.7%, which is the smallest number they’ve recorded since the study began in 1991. Congratulations to the CDC, who put forth the goal of reducing teen smoking to under 16% by 2020, you met your goal 5 years early, hope you guys are throwing yourselves the awesomest of shindigs to celebrate.

The caveat to this good news is that e-cigarette use among middle and high school users have tripled in one year. So glad the CDC met their teen smoking goal, but it sounds like they’re going to have to start making some new goals re: e-cigarettes.

The number of students who drink in high school also dropped, though it’s still, at 35% more than double the amount of teen smokers.

Teen pregnancy is at a record low

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showed a 10% decline in teen pregnancy just between 2012 and 2013. As the CDC explains, “While reasons for the declines are not clear, teens seem to be less sexually active, and more of those who are sexually active seem to be using birth control than in previous years.”

But we really need to work on that texting and driving

According to Dr. Stephanie Zaza, the director of the CDC’s division of adolescent and school health, 41% of teens report texting and driving. We REALLY need to get this number down. The stats on texting and driving in general are really scary- in 2011, 1.3 million crashes were a result of texting and driving, and using your phone while driving makes a crash up to 23 times more likely.  Moral of the story: throw that phone in your glove compartment and just don’t even think about it until you get to your destination!

For all the stats, check out the Time report here.

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