Medacs Healthcare

AUG 28/2015

UK's teenage pregnancy rate 'continues to fall'

The number of teenagers in England and Wales that are falling pregnant continues to fall, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 

At present, the rate stands at 23.3 pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15 to 17, which experts claim finally brings the rate in line with the rest of Western Europe. 

In the three months to June 2014, data from the ONS reveals there were 5,740 pregnancies among girls under the age of 18 compared to 6,279 in the same period of 2013. In 2012, the figure stood at 7,089 for the same quarter. 

The UK has previously had one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and abortion in Western Europe. However, the government has been keen to tackle the issue and has employed several strategies to bring the rate down. 

It would seem that these programmes have been successful, as the rate has continued to fall for the last few years, suggesting the UK is closing the gap between itself and its European peers. 

Back in 2012, the under-18 birth rate for England and Wales was 9.2 per 1,000, compared to the European Union's (EU's) average of 6.9. 

In addition the teen pregnancies, the overall birth rate in the UK has dropped by almost one-third (32.3 per cent) since 2004, compared with a drop of 15.6 per cent in the EU. 

A spokeswoman for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service said: "Contrary to popular perception, this data shows that the teenage pregnancy rate is falling dramatically in England and Wales. 

"While the UK has historically had a high teenage conception rate, it is now at its lowest level on record and not significantly out of step with other European countries."

The representative added that there has been a significant decline in the number of babies born to teenage mothers over the last ten years, which is due, in part, to improved contraception advice and better services.

"But it also reflects broader societal shifts, with younger women quite rightly expecting and able to pursue educational and professional ambitions," the spokesperson continued. 

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