Teen Pregnancy rate lowest since 1969
New statistics show that in 2010 the teenage birth rate reached its lowest level since 1969.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show conceptions in under-18s fell to 34,633 in 2010 compared with 38,259 in 2009, a drop of 9.5%. Pregnancies in under-16s also went down – by 6.8% to 6,674 in total from 7,158 the previous year. But the pregnancy rate overall increased, as more women in their 30s and 40s are now having babies.
The BBC analysed the data reporting the overall conception rate for 2010 was 82.3 per thousand women, up from 80.9 in 2009, a rise of 1.7%. The sharpest rise occurred among women aged 40 and over, rising by 5.2% to nearly 30,000. This rate has now more than doubled since 1990.
Conception rates also continued to rise among women in their 30s. Experts say the trends might be driven by the economic recession. In tough financial times, family may be valued more highly and, as parents could be out of work, they may have more time to spend on child rearing.
But others, like women in their early 20s, may delay having a family due to financial concerns caused by the recession.