NATIONALLY the teenage pregnancy rates are at their lowest level for 40 years. Tamworth however, still has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the England and Wales.
The latest figures in fact, show that in Tamworth, there are 44 pregnancies per 1000 under-18 girls.
The report, issued on Tuesday by the Office of National Statistics stated that the drop in England and Wales could be due to a “shift in aspirations of young women towards education” or the “perception of stigma associated with being a teenage mother”.
Does this mean that here in Tamworth there is a lack of aspiration? Are people just not so concerned about the stigma? Are the Schools and Academies in Tamworth doing enough to educate boys and girls on the issues of sex? Is there another factor?
Tamworth isn’t the only Staffordshire authority on the ‘leader board’ however, Stoke-on-Trent is also on the list, sitting just below Tamworth at number 2.
The figures in fact bring a whole new meaning to the County’s motto of ‘Staffordshire – The Creative County’!
In England and Wales, the number of conceptions for girls under the age of 18 in 2013 was 24,306, compared with 27,834 in 2012 – a drop of 3528 or nearly 13%.
For the under-16s, there was a slightly higher drop of 14% drop in the number of conceptions – an estimate of 4,648 in 2013, compared with 5,432 in 2012.
Meanwhile the conception rate for over-40s has more than doubled since 1990, to 14.2 per 1,000.
The report said: “Reasons for an increased number of women giving birth at ages 30 and above include increased participation in higher education, increased female participation in the labour force, the increasing importance of a career, the rising opportunity costs of childbearing, labour market uncertainty, housing factors and instability of partnerships.”
There was a drop of 11,000 in the overall number of pregnancies for all ages in England and Wales – down 1.3% to 872,849.
Conceptions outside of marriage or civil partnerships continued to outstrip those within them, with 57.2% of pregnancies for all ages occurring outside of marriage in 2013, the same as the year before. In 2013, there were 499,478 such pregnancies, 31.2% of which ended in abortion.