Pregnancy rates fall, but not for over-40s
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that conception rates in 2016 decreased for women in all age groups, except for those aged 40 and over where the rate increased by 2%.
In 2016, there were an estimated 862,785 conceptions to women of all ages in England and Wales, compared with 876,934 in 2015 – a decrease of 1.6%.
In comparison to the older age group, the statistics reveal the lowest teenage pregnancy rates since 1969 when the figures were first produced.
The estimated number of conceptions to women aged under 18 years fell in 2016 to 18,076, compared with 20,351 in 2015 – a decrease of 11%.
And the estimated number of conceptions to women aged under 16 years decreased by 19% – a fall to 2821 in 2016, compared with 3466 in 2015.
The percentage of conceptions leading to a legal abortion in 2016 increased for women in all age groups since 2015, apart from women aged 40 and over.
ONS statistician Nicola Haines said: ‘Conception rates for women aged under 18 years in England and Wales hit a record low in 2016 – declining 60% since 1998. This could be associated with a shift in aspirations for young women towards education, stigma associated with being a teenage mother and programmes invested in by successive governments.
‘The overall conception rate in England and Wales in 2016 was the lowest recorded since 2005, this could be a consequence of declining conception rates for women aged under 25 years.
‘Conception rates declined across all age groups between 2015 and 2016, except for women aged 40 and over where the rate increased.’
Access the full statistics here.