Births: Under 18s

House of Lords written question – answered on 3rd July 2012.

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Photo of Baroness Tonge Baroness Tonge Independent Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the number of (1) pregnancies, and (2) deliveries to married girls below 16 years old in England in (a) 2007, (b) 2008, (c) 2009, (d) 2010, (e) 2011, and (f) to 1 June 2012.

Photo of Baroness Tonge Baroness Tonge Independent Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the number of (1) pregnancies, and (2) deliveries to married girls below 18 years old in England in (a) 2007, (b) 2008, (c) 2009, (d) 2010, (e) 2011, and (f) to 1 June 2012.

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Photo of Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, Director General for ONS, to Baroness Tonge, dated June 2012.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking what was the number of (1) pregnancies, and (2) deliveries to married girls below 16 years old in England in (a) 2007, (b) 2008, (c) 2009, (d) 2010, (e) 2011, and (f) to 1 June 2012. And also, what was the number of (1) pregnancies, and (2) deliveries to married girls below 18 years old in England in (a) 2007, (b) 2008, (c) 2009, (d) 2010, (e) 2011, and (f) to 1 June 2012.

This question has been answered using conceptions data to represent pregnancies and maternities data to represent deliveries. Conception statistics are estimated for women usually resident in England and are based on birth registrations and abortion records. Maternity statistics are based on birth registrations. Information on marital status is provided by the informant at the time of the birth or abortion. Marital status may have changed between conception and birth or abortion.

The table in the attached spreadsheet shows the number of conceptions and maternities to married women under the age of 18 as well as under the age of 16 between the years 2007 to 2010, the latest years for which figures are available.

Number of conceptions and maternities in England to married women under the age of 16 and 18, 2007-10
Age 2010 2 2009 2 2008 2007
Maternities Under 161 7 3 5 15
Under 18 175 211 205 264
Conceptions Under 161 12 21 9 14
Under 18 233 327 369 405

1 The minimum legal age for marriage is 16 years of age in England and Wales. However, it is possible to marry at younger ages in other countries.

2 The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 contained provisions enabling two females in a same-sex couple to register a birth from 1 September 2009 onwards. Due to the small numbers in England in 2009 and 2010, births registered to a same-sex couple in a civil partnership are combined with births within marriage. Similarly conceptions within a civil partnership are included with conceptions within marriage.

Source: Office for National Statistics.

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