Northumberland teenage pregnancy rate falls to record low, new figures reveal
The teenage pregnancy rate in Northumberland has fallen to its lowest level since 2011.
New Office for National Statistics data shows 16 in 100,000 women aged 15 to 17 fell pregnant in the three months to March 2018, the latest period for which data is available.
That's the lowest level for the same three-month period since current records began in 2011.
This reflects the picture across England, where teenage the pregnancy rate fell to 17 in 100,000 during the three months to March.
A spokesperson for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service said a dramatic drop in teen pregnancies over the last two decades was in part due to government strategies such as improved sex education and access to contraception.
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They added: "Our research also indicates that shifts in young people’s attitudes and lifestyles have played a significant role. Increased use of social media among young people and more focus on their family life and future careers, as well as a decline in alcohol consumption, have all contributed to the fall in teen pregnancies.”
There were 19 pregnancies in Northumberland in the first three months of 2018, compared to 44 in 2011 – a fall of 57 per cent.
The BPAS spokesperson added:“We know that public health budgets have faced deep cuts in recent years, with over a third of local authorities reducing, or planning to reduce, their contraceptive services since 2015. It is important that services are maintained so that regional variations do not become more pronounced.”