Pregnancy rate for under 18s in Plymouth has fallen by near on 80% since records began
Pregnancy rates in Plymouth among under 18s has dropped by more than 50% since records began back in 1998.
Experts are pointing the reason for the decline towards online relationships and sexting taking presidence over physical relationships.
Back in 1998, when the Office for National Statistics started collecting data by local authority, the pregnancy rate for young women aged 15 and 17 was 54.7 per 1,000.
In the 12 months up to June 2017 that figure has dropped by over half to 19.6 per 1,000.
The trend is not just limited to Plymouth.
Local authorities across the UK have all reported some of their lowest Pregnancy rates in this age group to date.
Katherine O’Brien, spokeswoman for British Pregnancy Advisory service said:
Under 18 conception rates have been falling dramatically, particularly over the last decade, and they currently stand at record lows.
“Improvements in contraception and better sex education undoubtedly play a role, however we believe some societal shifts are also important factors.
“This is a generation who focus on their academic work much more, they are less likely to go out binge drinking and get involved in activities which can lead to sex.
“They are spending more and more time socialising online, and less time in person with their partners.”
A British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) report has revealed that social, romantic and sexual relationships are increasingly being experienced online.
Sexting seen as an alternative precursor to intercourse.
In total 77 young women under the age of 18 became pregnant in the 12 months leading up to June 2017.
The under 18 conception rate is above average for the South West which is 15.8 per 1,000 and is the third highest in the South West next to Torbay & Bournemouth.