Teenage births in district drop by over a third

Teenage mother
Teenage mother

The number of teenage pregnancies and unwed mothers in the Dungannon district has dropped to historic lows, it has been revealed.

Last year, there were 966 births registered in the district, down from 992 in 2012.

Of these, just 28 was to a mother between the ages of 13 and 19, a significant drop from highs of 45 and 40 recorded in 2001 and 2007.

However, the total far exceeds those of neighbouring Cookstown and Magherafelt districts, where there were just 8 and 13 births to teenage mothers respectively.

Just under a third of the births (32.6%) were to mothers who weren’t married, down slightly from last year.

Clare-Anne Magee, director for Parenting Forum at Parenting NI, said the statistics showed that attempts to reduce teenage pregnancies across the Health and Social Care Trusts through sex education or raising awareness of issues facing young mums and dads was working.

“Although the evidence says the number of young mothers is decreasing, it is imperative that the still significant numbers of young mums in Northern Ireland continue to receive support particularly around their self-esteem.”