Teenage pregnancy data

Annual 2020 conception data released on 14 April 2022 by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that in England 13.0 per 1,000 young women under-18 became pregnant.

This is a reduction of 17.40% from 2019, and 72% since 1998, the baseline year for the original Teenage Pregnancy Strategy. The 2020 conception rate for under-16s was 2.3/1000 13-15 year olds, a small reduction from 2019. Both under-18 and under-16 rates are at the lowest level since records began in 1969.

It is notable that although all quarterly data for 2020 declined, there was a bigger than usual annual reduction between 2019 and 2020. This looks largely due to the 33% drop in Q2 which coincided with the first pandemic national lockdown and is likely to reflect much reduced teenage sexual activity.

Under 18 conception, maternity and abortion rates 1998 - 2020: England

Graph: Conception, Maternity, Abortion rates 1998 - 2020

For more detail of your local area's annual data from 1998-2020 view the ONS data set

Table 6 shows the under-18 conception rate for each LA (top tier and district) from 1998-2020. Table 5 shows the under-16 conception rate for each LA from 2009-2019.

All top tier local authorities have seen declines since 1998, but there remains a big difference in progress and rates between areas. Reductions range from 40% to over 80% and there is 7-fold variation in the rate between local authorities. Sixty percent of local authorities have at least one ward with a rate significantly higher than England.

Have a look at your local area’s progress. The final column of the spreadsheet shows progress from 1998-2020 in the rate of under-18 conceptions, maternities and abortions.

Quarterly conception data

ONS also publish under-18 conception rate quarterly data at national and Local Authority level. Tab 1 shows the numbers of conceptions, Tab 2 the conception rate and Tab 3 the rolling annual conception rate. Because of some seasonal variation, it is usual practice to compare the same quarter each year rather than consecutive quarters. However the rolling annual conception rate provides the most accurate picture of the overall trend.

Data for Q1 2021 were published on 10th June. At a national level, compared with Q1 2020 there was a 20% reduction with declines in all regions. This quarter (Jan-March 2021) coincided with the third national lockdown in England, so the bigger than normal reduction is likely to reflect reduced sexual activity. A similar but larger reduction of 33% occurred in Q2 2020 during the first national lockdown.

Data for Q2 2021 were published on Thursday 22nd September. At a national level, comparing Q2 2021 with Q2 2020, there has been a 25% increase from 10.8 to 13. 5. However, as mentioned above, Q2 2020 (April-June) coincided with the first national lockdown when the under-18 conception rate drop by 33%. An increase in Q2 2021 was therefore to be expected.

However, the rolling annual rate (Tab 3) does show a slight increase from 12.2 to 12.8. This is the first rise in the rate since 2015, so is important to keep an eye on.

Public Health England Teenage Pregnancy Reports

PHE Fingertips provides a Teenage Pregnancy and Young Parents report for each local authority.

Find your Local Authority Teenage Pregnancy Reports


Teenage Pregnancy
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Director: Alison Hadley OBE
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