TEENAGE pregnancy rates in the UK continue to drop while, for the first time, the quarterly number of conceptions falls below 20 conceptions per 1,000 girls in England and Wales. This is according to the latest figures released by the UK’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) for the number of conceptions in women aged under 18 for England and Wales from July to September 2015. The figures also show that teenage pregnancies have now fallen 40% within 5 years across the country, from 8,091 in the third quarter of 2010 to 4,817 in the third quarter of 2015.
In Wales, the number of pregnancies in July to September last year was 311. This is a 6% decrease compared with the 332 pregnancies measured in the same months in 2014. In England, the number fell 13% to 4,506 in the third quarter of 2015 compared with the 5,156 pregnancies measured in the same period in 2014. The figures show a continuing trend in a falling number of teenage girls becoming pregnant in England and Wales. In the period of July to September 2015, for the first time, quarterly teenage pregnancies in the country fall below 5,000 to 4,817. The ONS based these rates on the population of women aged 15–17.
According to the ONS, in 2012 the UK had a birth rate of 9.2 per 1,000 women aged 15–17, however for women aged 15–19 this increased to 19.7 per 1,000 women. These figures ranked the UK fourth among the 28 member countries of the European Union (EU) for birth rates among women in the latter age range, behind Bulgaria, Romania, and Slovakia where the birth rates were 42.6, 39.4, and 21.4, respectively.
Jack Redden, Reporter