Sunderland has highest teenage pregnancy rates in the region

Decrease: Teenage pregnancy rates have fallen.
Decrease: Teenage pregnancy rates have fallen.
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TEENAGE pregnancy rates in Sunderland are the highest in the region – despite numbers decreasing.

Latest figures show that 170 under 18s conceived in 2013 – a rate of 35.3 per 1,000 of the population.

This is long-term work and the responsibility of everyone to help young people with knowledge, confidence and the ability to look at the many choices they face

Coun John Kelly

This is a 7.8 per cent decrease on the previous year, according to the figures released by the Office for National Statistics.

However, despite the drop, the city still has the highest teen pregnancy rate within the region, and it’s also higher than the English average of 24.3 per 1,000.

Council bosses say that while they fall in figures is down to hard work, they are aware that more long-term work is involved.

Coun John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for public health, wellness and culture, said: “The city council works in partnership with other agencies providing health, education and advice to prevent teenage pregnancies.

“A fall in the figures is the result of the hard work by teachers, parents, health workers and carers, and many others, to address this issue.

“This is long-term work and the responsibility of everyone to help young people with knowledge, confidence and the ability to look at the many choices they face.”

The city’s highest conception rate for under 18s was in 1998.

During that year, 357 teenagers fell pregnant at a rate of 63.1 per 1,000 of the population.