The Information Services Division of NHS Scotland recently published updated statistics on teenage pregnancy in Scotland, the most recent data being for the year of conception ending 31 December 2017. Source data include live and stillbirths recorded in the National Records of Scotland and legal abortions notified to the Chief Medical Officer.
Key findings from the report for women aged
- Rates of teenage pregnancy in Scotland reached the lowest levels in 2017 since reporting began in 1994. The rates declined from 31.7 in 2016 to 30.2 per 1000 women in 2017.
- The lowest overall rate of teenage pregnancy in 2017 was observed in NHS Grampian (23.8 per 1000 women), whereas the highest was observed in NHS Fife (37.0 per 1000 women).
- Although deliveries were more common than terminations, the rates of deliveries have dropped faster than the rates of terminations. Forty-five per cent of teenage pregnancies were terminated in 2017, the highest ever figure since reporting began.
- The gap in teenage pregnancy rates between the most and least deprived areas of Scotland seems to be narrowing.
- The likelihood of delivery is higher than that of termination among teenagers from the most deprived areas, whereas the trend is reversed among teenagers from the least deprived areas.
The rates of teenage pregnancy in Scotland have historically been higher than the rates in most other countries of Northern and Western Europe. Minimising unintended teenage pregnancies remains a key priority for the Scottish Government.