Teenage pregnancy

The life chances of teenage parents and their children are worse than those of older parents and their children. Teenage mothers are likely to experience a poorer standard of living and poorer physical and mental health. 

The infant mortality rate for babies of teenage mothers is 60% higher than for older mothers, whilst around half of teenage conceptions end in abortion suggesting that they are unplanned.

The children of teenage mothers are also likely to do less well in educational terms, are more likely to become economically inactive and more likely to become teenage mothers themselves.

It is important to understand teenage mothers are more likely to be from a lower socioeconomic background and therefore some of the negative outcomes attributed to their becoming a parent at a young age would have occurred anyway and highlights the complexity of teenage pregnancy. Additionally, some teenage pregnancies may be planned, particularly within established relationships, and may not always be a cause for concern. 

Overall, teenage pregnancies have continued to fall in Lancashire-12, although there are some small year on year differences between districts.

Under-16 conceptions

Reducing rates of teenage pregnancy and improving outcomes for young parents and their children remains an important priority for policy makers and commissioners across Lancashire.

On an annual basis the number of conceptions in girls aged 13-15 years is small, so data is pooled for three years to provide a more accurate figure. The following analysis is based on 2013-15 data. 

Key findings for Lancashire-12

  • For the period 2013-15 the rate of under-16 conceptions in Lancashire-12 (5.4 per 1,000 females) is significantly higher compared to England (4.3). This rate has reduced by just under a third from the 2007-09 rate (8.0), with 213 fewer under-16 conceptions across the county between the two periods. 
  • At a district level Burnley (9.5), Preston (8.0) and Hyndburn (6.6) still have rates significantly higher than England, whilst the others are not significantly different.
  • Fylde has seen the largest percentage increase (↑48.3%) in its rates between 2007-09 and 2013-15, with 15 conceptions in 2013-15.
  • Ribble Valley (↓53.6%) and South Ribble (↓52.6%) have seen the biggest reductions.

Under-18 conceptions

The under-18 conception rate is one of the teenage pregnancy indicators in the Public Health England Sexual and Reproductive Health profiles.

Key findings for Lancashire-14

The following analysis is based on 2015 data:

  • The under-18 conception rate in Lancashire-12 has decreased slightly from 2014, with a reduction of 48% since 1998.
  • Lancashire-12 has a higher rate of conception (25.1 per 1,000 females aged 15-17), compared to England (20.8).
  • Blackpool (43.8), Burnley (41.0), Hyndburn (33.8), Preston (33.5) and West Lancashire (28.4) are all significantly worse than England.
  • Burnley (↑19.9%)and West Lancashire (↑65.1%) have seen their conception rates increase from the previous year.
  • Rossendale (↓34.0%) and Ribble Valley (↓29.2%) have seen the biggest decreases. 
  • Blackburn with Darwen (25.3) has a similar under-18 conception rate compared to Lancashire-12 and England, whilst Blackpool (43.8) has a significantly higher rate, with an increase of 24.0% since 2014.

Further data

Under-16 conception data for Lancashire-12 (2013-15) (XLSX 15 KB)

Under-18 conception data for Lancashire-14 (2015) (XLSX 1.4 MB)

 Page updated July 2017