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Teenage pregnancies at 45-year low, new figures show

There are fewer teenage pregnancies now than there have been since 1969, new figures show.

There were 24.5 conceptions per thousand girls aged between 15 and 17 during 2013, the latest date for which figures are available. This is equivalent to an estimated 24,306 conceptions during 2013.

The data, released today by the Office of National Statistics, shows that there has been a 13 per cent decrease in teenage pregnancies since 2012. That year, there were 27.9 conceptions per 1,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 17 - equivalent to an estimated 27,834 conceptions.

The figures, which apply only to England and Wales, also show that an estimated 4,648 girls under the age of 16 fell pregnant in 2013. This is a drop of 14 per cent since 2012, when an estimated 5,432 under-16s conceived.

Just over half – 51 per cent – of all conceptions to girls under the age of 18 led to an abortion in 2013, a proportion which has remained relatively unchanged since 2006.

With the exception of a couple of anomalous years, the teenage-pregnancy rate has been steadily declining since 1998. In that time, it has almost halved.

Jules Hillier, deputy chief executive of sexual-health charity Brook says that local authorities must continue to invest in sex and relationships education and specialist young people’s services, in order to sustain this decline.

“Today’s figures are testament to a lot of hard work, that must be sustained even in the face of spending cuts. Investment is prevention is cost-effective,” she said.

Read the full ONS report here.

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