Conception rates in the United Kingdom - Statistics & Facts

The United Kingdom has one of the highest birth rates in Europe, measuring 11.9 per 1,000 population in 2015. In England and Wales this equated to approximately 697.9 thousand live births. The United Kingdom was once regarded as having one of the highest teenage conception rates in Europe, but in recent years this trend has declined, with women more likely to wait until their late twenties or early thirties before having their first child. The number of women having children inside a marriage or civil partnership is also changing, with women over thirty years more likely to have children within a marriage/civil partnership than women in their early twenties.

The questions of where to give birth, or which method to use are topics that expectant mothers need to consider. In England and Wales at least, the number of women giving birth in a hospital is significantly higher than the number of women giving birth at home. However, with over 15.6 thousand live births taking place at home it's still a significant number to consider. The most common method of childbirth in England, on the National Health Service (NHS), is spontaneous vertex delivery, otherwise known as a natural birth. Caesarean sections are also quite common, with many women often requiring an emergency C-section. It is estimated that the average cost of giving birth on the NHS is 2,790 British pounds. If there are complications with the birth, then the price can rise quite rapidly. The average antenatal stay in NHS hospitals is either the same day as delivery or one day before expected delivery. After childbirth, women normally have a postnatal stay of one to two days.

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Conception rates in the United Kingdom

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Method of delivery

Hospital care


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