Education

Teen pregnancy rates fall to record low

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The Office of National Statistics has released data showing teen pregnancy rates in England and Wales are now at their lowest level since records began in 1969.

The annual release from the ONS shows a 13% annual fall in conceptions to women aged under 18 in 2013.

Conceptions to women aged under 16 also fell, dropping by 14% from last year.

Sexual health charities have welcomed the news.

Jules Hillier, Chief Executive of the UK’s largest young people’s sexual health charity Brook said:

Today’s figures are testament to a lot of hard work that must be sustained even in the face of spending cuts. Local authorities must ensure they continue to invest in sex and relationships education, and specialist young people’s services as well as targeted work for vulnerable groups of young people.

The Family Planning Association (FPA) welcomed the announcement but said it was important to avoid complacency:

The danger with getting good news year on year is that people start to take their eye off the ball. The truth is we are still lagging behind the rates of other countries in Europe.

As highlighted by the FPA, internationally England and Wales still have a teen pregnancy rate well above that of  the European Union average.

However, the recent ONS release shows that pregnancy levels in England and Wales are falling at a much quicker rate than the EU average.

The latest data also shows the England and Wales to have lower teen pregnancy levels than in the US.

The town of Tamworth in the Midlands recorded the highest teen pregnancy rate, nearly double that of the national average.

Teen pregnancy rates in London were below the national average in 2013, with the borough of Barnet seeing the highest rate of teen pregnancy and Harrow experiencing the lowest.

Categories: Education, Health

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