CHICAGO (AP) — Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Public Health announced Sunday teen births are at a historic low in Chicago.

An agency statement Sunday says there have been eight consecutive years of declines.

The most recently available data is from 2014, when there were 32 births per 1,000 females between 15 and 19 — a more than a 62 percent drop from a 85.2 rate in 1999.

The rate is higher than the national average — which is 22.2 births per 1,000, that gap is closing as Chicago’s teen birthrate has dropped 20 percent more than national rates.

“This is an important step in the right direction as Chicago continues to work towards fewer teen births,” Mayor Emanuel said in a statement. “Every teen in this city deserves resources and education so they can make informed choices.”

Officials partly credited a sexual-health curriculum in schools.

“These historic declines are good news for babies, teens and Chicago,” said CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita, M.D. “By providing teens with resources, information and support they need, we can drive these numbers down even further, ensuring every teenager has a chance to be teenager.”

Studies indicate that only around 38 percent of teenage mothers earn a high school diploma. Their children are less likely to finish high school than children of older mothers.

(CBS Chicago and The Associated Press contributed to this copy. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)