Teen pregnancy rates in Wigan fall to lowest level since 2011

Teenaged pregnancies are at a record low in Wigan
Teenaged pregnancies are at a record low in Wigan

The teenage pregnancy rate in Wigan has fallen to its lowest level since 2011, figures reveal.

New Office for National Statistics data shows only 15 in 100,000 women aged 15 to 17 got 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 - also the lowest level since 2011.

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.

“Our research also indicates that shifts in young people’s attitudes and lifestyles have played a significant role,” they added.

“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 pregnancy rates.”

There were 19 pregnancies in Wigan in the first three months of 2018, compared to 42 in 2011 – a fall of 55%.

Across England, the number of pregnancies fell by around 50% over the same period, from 7,373 to 3,678.

The BPAS spokesperson also said that, despite the historical decline, cuts to local health budgets were forcing councils to scrap contraceptive services, potentially fuelling regional disparities.