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Life after teenage motherhood

  • By May Luong


  • Women who had their first child under age 20 (teenage mothers) were 17 percentage points less likely to have completed high school than women who had their first child later (adult mothers). Teenage mothers were also at least 14 percentage points less likely to complete their postsecondary studies than adult mothers.

  • Overall, almost no difference was seen in labour force participation between teenage mothers and adult mothers of similar education levels. The only difference was that teenage mothers with postsecondary education were more likely to be in full-year full-time employment than adult mothers with postsecondary education.

  • Teenage mothers and adult mothers with similar education had almost the same probability of living in low income.

  • Unlike in the United States, a smaller proportion of immigrants in Canada were teenage mothers. Only 9% of immigrants who were a visible minority and 6% of immigrants who were not a visible minority were teenage mothers compared with 11% of those Canadian-born and not a visible minority.

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