Underage pregnancies

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • The number of pregnancies to girls conceiving under age 16 is similar to a decade ago, although the number of actual births (as opposed to abortions) is lower.  More specifically, while annual births have fallen by 120, from 380 to 260, abortions have risen by a similar number and now constitute the majority (60%) of the pregnancies.
  • The rate of pregnancy among 13- to 15-year-old girls in the most deprived fifth of areas is twice as high as that in areas with average deprivation.

Definitions and data sources

The first graph shows the number of pregnancies per year to girls under the age of 16, with the data shown separately for delivered babies and for abortions.  The data for each year is the number of conceptions that commenced in that year.

The second graph shows how the conception rate for girls aged 13 to 15 varies by the level of deprivation of the local area, with the data again shown separately for delivered babies and for abortions.  The deprivation quintiles are defined using the 2009 Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.  Note that the the data for the least deprivation and second least deprived has been suppressed for data confidentiality reasons.  To improve it statistical reliability, the data is the average for the latest three years.

The data source for both graphs is ISD Scotland.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: medium.  The collection of the conception and births statistics is an established process.