Pregnancy and parenthood in young people: strategy update

Reports on progress against aims and actions and sets out next steps.


Rates of pregnancy in young people under 20 have seen a significant drop in recent years. The most recent ISD data (on conceptions in 2015) show that since 2007 [3] ;

  • rates in the under 20 age group have decreased by 43.8%
  • rates in the under 18 age group have decreased by 52.1% and
  • rates in the under 16 age group have decreased by 61%

This reduction is a significant achievement. However, rates in Scotland remain higher than those in the rest of Western Europe. The latest data published by the Office for National Statistics ( ONS) on live births [4] (rather than conceptions) in those aged under 20 show that the UK has one of the highest rates of teenage births in Europe at 15.5 per 1000. This compares with 3.6 per 1000 in Denmark (the lowest). Comparable data for Scotland, using information from National Records of Scotland ( NRS), shows rates at 16.1 per 1000. It is essential, therefore, that we continue our efforts to support those young people vulnerable to pregnancy at a young age.


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