Teenage Pregnancy Rates Start to Tumble; but Region Still Tops Figures

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), October 9, 2008 | Go to article overview

Teenage Pregnancy Rates Start to Tumble; but Region Still Tops Figures


Byline: Ben Glaze

THE number of teenage girls falling pregnant is tumbling across South Wales, new figures reveal.

There are still more teenage pregnancies in South Wales than other parts of the country, but the rate has fallen in every local authority in the area.

A total of 49.5 girls for every thousand under 18 across the region conceive annually, compared with an all-Wales average of 44.9 But an official report from Assembly Government body Statistics for Wales shows therewere36 fewer pregnancies in South Wales in 2006 - the latest year for which statistics are available - compared with 2003.

That represents a fall of 3.5% from 1,035 to 999.

In Cardiff the teen pregnancy rate fell from 46.1 per 1,000 girlsunder 18 in the capital conceiving in 2003, to 44.4 in 2006. But because of population changes, that meant an actual fall of five pregnancies, from 268 to 263.

The rate plummeted in Rhondda Cynon Taf from 62.7 to 53.9, meaning 47 fewer girls got pregnant, And in Bridgend, the ratio fell from50 under-18s per 1,000 getting pregnant in 2003, to44.5 in 2006 - translated as just 14 fewer conceptions: 117 compared with 131.

In the Vale of Glamorgan, the rate rose from 38.7 females in every 1,000 under 18 getting pregnant five years ago, to 42.1 in 2006.

And the ratiosalsosoared inMerthyr Tydfil and Caerphilly from 47.3 to 56.8 and 51.6 to 55 respectively.

Cardiff North AM Jonathan Morgan, the Conservatives' health spokesman in the Assembly said today: "It's down to families having conversations about safe sex and whether they should be having sex in the first place. …

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