What do we know?
Under 18 conception data is used to monitor rates of teenage pregnancy and represents all under 18 conceptions that result in either live birth or abortion (termination). The most recent annual data available is for 2014 and is produced by the Office of National Statistics. This shows that the annual under 18 conception rates decreased in Central Bedfordshire from 2013-2014. In 2013, the rate was 19.9 per 1000 (actual number 92) and in 2014 the rate was 18.8 per 1000 (actual number 85). This represents a reduction of 5% in the rate between 2013 and 2014. The percentage leading to abortion decreased slightly from 2013 to 2014 from 58.7% to 56.5%
Figure 1 shows trends in under 18 conception rates from 2002-2014 in Central Bedfordshire, the East of England and England. In 2014, rates in Central Bedfordshire were lower than the East of England and England rates. It is important to bear in mind that, given the small numbers involved, annual local authority rates can be subject to large year on year fluctuations and these fluctuations are evened out at a regional and national level.
Figure 1: Trends in under 18 conception rates in Central Bedfordshire, East of England and England 2002-2014 Source- ONS (2015)
In order to compare Central Bedfordshire to the most and least deprived Local Authorities in England the Indices of Deprivation was used.
- 2014 under 18 conception rate in the most deprived: 30.2 per 1000
- 2014 under 18 conception rate in the least deprived: 15.0 per 1000
- 2014 under 18 conception rate in Central Bedfordshire: 18.8 per 1000
Indices of Deprivation (2015)
The three year aggregated under 18 conception rate in Central Bedfordshire across the years 2012-2014 was 21.8 per 1000, which is a decrease from 2011-2013 at 25.9 per 1000. This three year aggregate conception rate provides a more robust picture of a Local Authority’s overall performance, smoothing out the effect of any random year on year fluctuations shown within the annual data.
|2001 - 2003||2004 - 2006||2007 - 2009||2008 - 2010||2009 - 2011||2010 - 2012||2011 - 2013||2012 - 2014|
|Under 18 conception rates||32.0||28.5||33.0||33.2||31.8||29.8||25.9||21.8*|
Repeat conceptions in the under 18s
Nationally, around 20% of all under 18 conceptions are repeat conceptions. Due to the small numbers these represent at a local level and because abortion data is currently only available at a county wide level, confirmed figures for Central Bedfordshire are not available. Reducing repeat conceptions continues to be a priority locally and efforts to address this are detailed under the heading ‘current services’.
High under 18 conception rate wards in Central Bedfordshire
In every Local Authority in England, there are wards where under 18 conception rates fall within the 20% highest in the country. These are termed teenage pregnancy ‘high rate wards; Figure 2 shows the higher rate wards in Central Bedfordshire and the trends in under 18 conceptions between 2008 and 2014. The latest data for 2012-2014 was published by ONS in September 2016. All five Central Bedfordshire higher rate wards in 2010-2012 have seen a reduction in numbers, with two wards no longer considered as higher rate areas in 2011-2013 leaving just three high rates wards. For the period of 2012-2014, just 2 high rate wards remain in Central Bedfordshire (see figure 1 and Table 2).
Figure 2 - High rate ward trends in Central Bedfordshire 2008-2014
Higher rate ward
2010 - 2012
Higher rate ward
2011 - 2013
Higher rate ward
2012 - 2014
The links between teenage pregnancy, deprivation and poverty are inextricable with each of the teenage pregnancy higher rate wards falling within the 20% most deprived in the Central Bedfordshire area
Table 3 shows how Central Bedfordshire compares to its statistical neighbours for the period 2011-14. The Central Bedfordshire rate is lower than all but two of its statistical neighbours in 2014.
|Rate||% leading to abortion||Rate||% leading to abortion||Rate||% leading to abortion||Rate||% leading to abortion|
 Public Health England, Central Bedfordshire Health profile 2015, London, 2015.
 Department of Health, A Framework for Sexual Health Improvement in England, Department of Health, London, 2013
Last updated Thursday, 11th May 2017