THE BRONX - The national teen birth rate is at an all-time low, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The lower figures are in part due to a dramatic decrease in births among black and Hispanic teens. In the past eight years, the number of births among Hispanic teens dropped by 51 percent and declined 44 percent among black teens.

Zandra Graham, who works at the Teen Health Center at St. Barnabas Hospital, says the new figures could be attributed to organizations like hers doing a better job of educating kids.

Compared with white teens, the CDC says the birth rate among blacks and Hispanics is still at least twice as high. In New York, for example, 31 out of every 1,000 Hispanic teens and 24 out of every 1,000 black teens gave birth, compared with 10 out of every 1,000 white teens.

According to the CDC, teen pregnancies cost American taxpayers $9 billion each year.