Teenage pregnancies fall for the 10th year running as birth rate among all ages slows

The rate of teenage pregnancies has dropped again (Picture: PA)

The number of teenage pregnancies has fallen of the 10th year in a row, figures have revealed.

There were 17.9 conceptions per 1,000 women aged under 18 in 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Overall, there were an estimated 847,204 conceptions to women of all ages, an annual decrease of 1.8% and the largest decrease since 2012.

The ONS said the number of conceptions to women aged under 16 years fell to 2,517 in 2017, compared with 2,821 in 2016, a decrease of 10.8%.

It said conception rates fell for women in all age groups, except for those aged 40 years and over where the rate increased by 2.6%.

Women aged under 16 were the only age group where the percentage of conceptions leading to a legal abortion decreased.

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“Conception rates for women aged under 18 years in England and Wales decreased for the 10th year running in 2017,” said Kathryn Littleboy, from the ONS’s Vital Statistics Outputs Branch.

“Possible reasons for the continued decrease in teenage conception rates include improved sex and relationship education, better access to contraceptives and increased participation in higher education.

"By contrast, for the second year in a row, women aged 40 years and over were the only age group for whom conception rates increased.

Fewer women are having babies, the ONS said (Picture: PA)

“This could relate to the rising costs of childbearing and housing, among other reasons.”

The ONS said that in 2017, there were 16,740 conceptions to women aged under 18 years in England and Wales, a 7.4% decrease compared with 18,086 in 2016 and a 61.1% decrease compared with 2007.

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