England’s Teen Birth Rate Down 8% in a Year
The UK has had the highest levels of teenage pregnancy in Europe, but the number of pregnant teens has been making a steady decline year after year. In the past 12 months, England’s teen birth rate as a whole has fallen by an astonishing 8.4% – to it’s lowest level in 40 years!
NHS Maternity Statistics, England: 2012/2013 is a report by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) containing the figures that show the drop in teen pregnancies, with teenage pregnancy being defined as a human female between 13 and 19 years old when her baby is born.
According to the report, 33,620 teens gave birth in 2011/2012, but this year that number has dropped by almost three thousand, to 30,790. The numbers in the report also show the steady fall of the number of teenage deliveries since 2007/2008, when there were over 40,000 births recorded.
In NHS hospitals, there were 671,260 deliveries recorded in total, with the report showing a 0.5% rise in the number of these deliveries being via Caesarean section since last year, from 25% to 25.5%. The highest number of C-sections was among mothers over the age of 39, 42%, whilst only 13.6% of mums under 20 had their babies in this way.
Interestingly, the report showed that women from the most deprived areas of the country twice as likely to have a baby this year than women from the least deprived areas, 37.2 per 1,000 women, compared with 18.6 out of 1,000.
This year it was also shown that almost 10 times as many teenage girls became mothers from the most deprived areas than those from the least deprived, 31.1 out of 1,000 and 3.6 out of 1,000 respectively. The lowest levels of teenage pregnancy could be seen in London while the North East of England had the most teenage deliveries.
“We know the teenage conception rate is at its lowest since 1969, and this is reflected in both the decline in teenage births and abortions,” explains Clare Murphy, external affairs director for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS). She said that although the figures have fallen, it is still vital for young people to be able to have “unbiased advice” about pregnancy and contraception.
Murphy said also said that the increase in the number of women opting to have a Caesarean section, elective Caesarean sections, instead of having to having to undergo an emergency C-section was interesting to note. “We believe strongly that women should have a choice in childbirth,” she said, “and whether to opt for a natural or surgical delivery.”
Natika Halil of the Family Planning Association (FPA) said that the lower number of pregnant teens and teenage births reflected the hard work of doctors and teachers in the battle against teen pregnancy and that the sexual health charity welcomed the “continued decrease”. “While the figures are promising,” she said, “we are still not at the [low] levels recorded in the comparable European countries, so we must keep up the momentum.”