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Teenage conception rates highest in the most deprived areas

Link between deprivation and teenage conception rates in England

The latest ONS analysis shows that under 18 conception rates were highest in the most deprived parts of England in 2009–11. More recent figures on under 18 conception rates for England show that in 2012 the rate was 27.7 conceptions per thousand women aged 15 to 17, which is the lowest since 1982 (since records began).

Conception rates in local authority areas were analysed alongside data from the 2010 Indices of Deprivation, a measure covering seven different indicators including income, education, employment, health and crime. This revealed a strong statistical association between indicators of deprivation and teenage conception rates.


Chart 1: Under 18 conception rates and deprivation ranks for local authorities in England, 2009–11

Chart 1: Under 18 conception rates and deprivation ranks for local authorities in England, 2009–11
Source: Office for National Statistics, Communities and Local Government

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Blackpool and Middlesbrough had the highest under 18 conception rates

The highest under 18 conception rates were in Blackpool and Middlesbrough. These areas were ranked as the 6th and 8th most deprived respectively out of the 324 English local authorities. In contrast, the two areas with the lowest under 18 conception rates (Rutland, and Waverley) ranked 305th and 321st respectively.

Within London, under 18 conception rates varied noticeably. The rate in Haringey was 42.2 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 18 while neighbouring Barnet had a rate of less than half that (19.1 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 18). Similarly, whilst the under 18 conception rate was relatively high in Lambeth (45.9 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 18), across the Thames in Kensington and Chelsea, the rate was less than half of that in Lambeth (21.5 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 18).

Neighbouring areas with contrasting under 18 conception rates were more common in urban areas of England and a similar pattern emerged for deprivation ranks and unemployment rates.

Link between deprivation rank and under 18 conception rates strongest out of all deprivation indicators

Out of a range of measures looking at different aspects of deprivation, the indicator with the strongest association with under 18 conception rates was the overall deprivation rank. Other indicators, including the child poverty rate and unemployment rate, had a moderately strong association with under 18 conception rates.

Across the population in England, poor GCSE results (fewer than five A* to C grades) showed a very weak association with teenage conception rates. Crime levels also showed a relatively weak association with under 18 conception rates.

Map 1: Under 18 conception rate and unemployment rate by local authority, England, 2009–11

Areas with higher rates of under 18 conceptions generally show higher rates of unemployment in 2009–11
Source: Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. 1To preserve confidentiality, data for Isles of Scilly have been merged with Cornwall and data for City of London have been merged with Hackney.

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Where can I find out more about the link between conceptions and deprivation?

These statistics are from the ONS Conceptions-Deprivation Analysis Toolkit (8.73 Mb Excel sheet) which uses a range of official statistics to explore the relationship between teenage conception rates and various measures of deprivation for local authorities in England and Wales. It can be used to further explore conception rates and deprivation statistics for the areas mentioned here and for other areas. To find out more about the Indices of Deprivation in general, visit the Department of Communities and Local Government webpage. If you have any comments or suggestions, we’d like to hear them. Please email us at: better.info@ons.gsi.gov.uk.

Categories: Population, Births and Fertility, Conception and Fertility Rates, Conceptions, Conception Rates, People and Places, People, Social Protection and Benefits, Health and Social Care, Health of the Population, Health Inequalities
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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