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Teenage Pregnancy

Volume 506: debated on Monday 22 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many pregnancies of girls aged between 15 and 19 years there were in each of the last 30 years; and what assessment he has made of trends in the level of such pregnancies. (317966)

I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Letter from Dennis Roberts, dated February 2010:

The Director General for the Office for National Statistics has been asked to reply to your recent question asking the Secretary of State for Health, how many pregnancies of girls aged between 15 and 19 years there were in each of the last 30 years; and what assessment has been made of trends in the level of such pregnancies. (317966) I am replying in his absence.

The table attached provides the statistics that are available on a consistent basis and follows the standard way of presenting these data. The table gives the number of conceptions among girls aged (a) under 16, (b) 16-19 years and (c) under 20, and rates of conceptions for (d) under 16 and (e) under 20, for England and Wales for 1987 to 2007 (the most recent year for which figures are available). Figures specifically for girls aged between 15 and 19 years could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Figures on conceptions are estimates based on the number of live births, stillbirths or legal abortions. They do not include miscarriages and illegal abortions. Prior to 1987, a woman's age at conception was calculated on a different basis and therefore it is not possible to accurately compare the level of conceptions prior to 1987 against levels in subsequent years.

Rates have been included in the table provided as rates take account of changes in population sizes and therefore provide a better measure of the proportion of women who conceive each year.

Conceptions1 to women aged (a) under 16 years2 and 16-19 years2 in England and Wales3, 1987-20074

Number of conceptions (thousand)

Rate per 1,0005

Age of woman at conception

Age of woman at conception

Year

(a) Under 166

(b) 16-19 years6

(c) Under 206

(d) Under 166

(e) Under 206

1987

8.6

112.7

121.3

8.8

65.2

1988

8.3

110.6

118.9

8.8

65.8

1989

8.0

107.7

115.7

8.9

66.8

1990

8.1

105.2

113.3

9.5

68.0

1991

7.5

94.1

101.6

8.9

64.1

1992

7.2

86.2

93.4

8.4

61.9

1993

7.3

79.9

87.2

8.1

59.7

1994

7.8

77.6

85.4

8.3

58.7

1995

8.1

78.5

86.6

8.6

58.7

1996

8.9

86.0

94.9

9.5

63.2

1997

8.3

87.7

96.0

8.9

62.6

1998

8.5

93.1

101.6

9.0

65.1

1999

7.9

90.9

98.8

8.3

63.1

2000

8.1

89.6

97.7

8.3

62.5

2001

7.9

88.1

96.0

8.0

60.8

2002

7.9

89.2

97.1

7.9

60.6

2003

8.0

90.6

98.6

7.9

60.0

2004

7.6

93.7

101.3

7.5

60.3

2005

7.9

94.4

102.3

7.8

60.1

2006

7.8

95.3

103.1

7.8

60.2

2007

8.2

98.1

106.3

8.3

61.7

1 Figures on conceptions are based on the number of live births, stillbirths or legal abortions. They do not include miscarriages and illegal abortions.

2 Age at estimated date of conception.

3 Women usually resident in England and Wales.

4 Years for which the method used for estimating woman's age at conception was consistent. 2007 is the most recent year for which figures are available.

5 Number of conceptions to women under 16 per 1,000 female population aged 13-15 and to women under 20 per 1,000 female population aged 15-18.

6 Data have been published in groups—‘under 16’ and ‘under 20’. Due to small numbers ‘under 16’ has been included as a group. Age 16-19 was calculated by subtracting the ‘under 16’ figure from the ‘under 20’.