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Health Public Health

Continued fall in teenage pregnancy rate

Lowest rates of teenage pregnancy since reporting began.

Teenage pregnancies in Scotland are at the lowest level since 1994, according to the latest statistics.

In 2018, there were 29.6 teenage pregnancies per 1,000 women, down from 30.2 in 2017 and 54.7 in 1994.

The gap in teenage pregnancy rates between the most and least deprived areas has also reduced, with the rate for those living in the most deprived areas decreasing from 87.4 per 1,000 women in 2009 to 56.8 in 2018 and the rate for those in the least deprived areas dropping from 21.9 to 12.2 respectively.

Commenting on the statistics, Public Health Minister and local MSP for Dundee City West constituency Joe FitzPatrick said:

“It’s encouraging to see a fall in the rates of teenage pregnancy for the eleventh successive year, with rates at their lowest level since reporting began in 1994. This reflects the dedicated work of education, health and community services in giving young people more choice, support and advice.

“I’m particularly pleased that the gap in teenage pregnancy rates between the most and least deprived areas is narrowing too.

“We are continuing work to implement our ‘Pregnancy and Parenthood in Young People Strategy’, focusing on supporting young people who are vulnerable to pregnancy in key areas including education and attainment, training and employment and emphasising the importance of positive relationships to help them to achieve their potential as young people and as parents. We have also continued to roll out the Family Nurse Partnership programme since 2010, to offer direct support to young, first time mothers and their families from pregnancy until their child reaches two.”

Background

A reduction in the teenage pregnancy rate has been observed since the most recent peak in 2007.

The latest National Progress Report outlines how the Scottish Government is working to support young people around pregnancy and parenthood, through the implementation of the Pregnancy and Parenthood in Young People Strategy as well as wider work across Government.

More information can be found in the Teenage Pregnancy 2018 statistics.

One of the outcomes of the Family Nurse Partnership programme is to increase the time between subsequent births, thereby contributing towards the downward trend of rapid subsequent pregnancies in this age group. Those from most deprived areas have almost 15 times the rate of delivery compared to least deprived.

On 20 August Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell announced an additional £2.35 million for the Parental Employability Support Fund to support disabled and young parents and to maximise the impact of expanded Early Learning and Childcare entitlements. This will help families to move towards and into employment and provide wrap-around support and advice on issues such as housing and childcare.