Croydon’s rate of teenage pregnancy has risen in the last year, even though the overall national rates continue to decline.
According to recently published figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the latest data shows that Croydon topped all London boroughs with 232 pregnancies per 1000 in girls aged 15 to 17 in 2013 having risen in the previous year; and is much higher than the neighbouring boroughs of Lewisham with 152, Hackney that had 97 and Tower Hamlets with 74 all of which declined in the last 12 months. Westminster had the lowest number in London with 24 pregnancies.
Professor Kevin Fenton, National Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England, said: “Young people who have the highest rate of unplanned pregnancy and teenage parenthood can be at risk of a range of poor outcomes, such as poor educational achievement, poor physical and mental health, social isolation and poverty, so it is vital this downward trend is continued.”
These latest statistics show a continuing decline in the number of teenage pregnancies in London and the UK, where there were 2,962 conceptions in 2013, having fallen from 3,504 in the previous year and down from 6,042 in 1998.
Alison Hadley, teenage pregnancy knowledge exchange director at the University of Bedfordshire said: “The significant reduction is proof that concerted effort, evidence based approaches and significant time can make a difference to complex public health issues.”
“The challenge now is maintaining a ‘whole systems’ approach in the new commissioning landscape, and with fewer resources.”
The national trend has seen a drop from 44,119 in 1998 to 24,306 in 2013 for England and Wales, according to the ONS.
Tower Hamlets has the 7th highest abortion percentage with 72 per cent of pregnancies leading to it and this is much higher than the neighbouring boroughs of Croydon and Hackney with 62 per cent and Lewisham with 58 per cent.
London has the highest percentage of pregnancies that lead to abortions in the UK. This currently stands at 64% for girls between 15-17. The average within England and Wales is 51 per cent.