The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that teenage pregnancies in Australia are at an all-time low — with rates lower than New Zealand and England.
The latest figures show that only 2.8 per cent of all births in 2015 are from women aged between 15 and 19, compared to 3.1 per cent in 2014 and a staggering 24 per cent in 2005.
Australian Young Pregnant and Parenting Network President Lyn Allison told the Canberra Times that Australia’s teenage pregnancy rate still lagged behind other Western countries. “In some western European counties, their figure is half of ours and we can certainly improve and we know that it’s worthwhile to do so,” she said.
The country’s teenage fertility rate is at 11.9 births per 1,000 women compared to Canada (at 11.1), but is significantly lower than New Zealand (18.5) and England and Wales (14.5).
Executive director of Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT Tim Bavinton cited several reasons for the declining birth rate.
“It’s partly in effect due to better sex education and contraceptive information and schools are taking that job seriously now with the national curriculum. I don’t think we’ll see any substantial changes up or down in the trend,” he said.
Beidar Cho from the ABS said that the fertility rate for 30-34 year olds was the “highest” of all age groups, followed by 25-29 year olds.
The ACT had the lowest teenage pregnancy figures of any state at only 1.28 per cent of all births, while the Northern Territory recorded the highest rate with 6.66 per cent.