Calderdale teenage pregnancy rate has gone down, but it remains higher than national average

Calderdale teenage pregnancy rate has gone down, but it remains higher than national average
Calderdale teenage pregnancy rate has gone down, but it remains higher than national average

Fewer teenagers are becoming pregnant in Calderdale, figures reveal – but conception rates remain higher than the national average.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service attributed the dramatic decline in English teenagers becoming pregnant over the last two decades to substantial shifts in their lifestyles.

Office for National Statistics data shows there were 19.5 conceptions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 17 in the area between April and June last year, the latest period for which data is available.

Read: More than 180 of Calderdale food businesses don't meet hygiene standards
This was lower than during the same period the previous year, when the rate was 19.9 per 1,000.

Likewise, the rate across England fell from 18.3 to 16.7 per 1,000 over the period.

The data shows 17 girls got pregnant in Calderdale in the three months to June 2018, compared to 31 in 2011.

Across England, conceptions halved over the seven-year period, from 7,373 to 3,679.

A BPAS spokeswoman called the dramatic decline "truly remarkable", due in part to improved access to contraception and information about sexual health.

Changes in young people's outlooks, lifestyles and aspirations has also had a "substantial impact", she said.

The spokeswoman added: "Over the last decade we have seen significant declines in levels of binge drinking among young people, and significant increases if the amount of socialising that takes place online rather than in person.

Read: Rain didn't dampen spirits at the annual Cragg Challenge
"Young people report spending a lot of time at home with their family rather than being out with their friends.

"This is also a generation that is acutely aware of the political and economic environment around them.

"They are concerned that they may struggle to achieve the same financial stability as their parents' generation, and are focussing on their education and careers in order to do so."

A Government spokeswoman said: "Thanks to sustained efforts in local areas including increased access to contraception, teenage pregnancies are at a record low, helping to improve young women's life chances across the country.

"However, teenage pregnancy is still more likely among young women from more deprived backgrounds. We are introducing compulsory relationships and sex education to help all young people understand the facts and choices about contraception and pregnancy."

Read: 21 pictures of life in Calderdale from deep in the archive