THE number of teenage girls in East Lancashire getting pregnant is falling, new figures have revealed.

Between 2012 and last year 1.5 per cent of women giving birth in the region were aged under 18 years old, according to Public Health England.

This compares to 1.6 per cent of woman between 2011 and 2012.

However they also said that East Lancashire has a higher percentage of births to teenage girls compared with the English average and a higher percentage compared with the European average of 1.2 per cent.

The figures come after the Office of National Statistics (ONS) recently revealed that fewer than 30,000 babies were born to girls under 20 in England and Wales last year, down from 45,000 in 2006.

The national total is now at its lowest since 1951.

The figures from the ONS also showed the average age of a new mother was 30, up from 29.8 in 2012.

The Lancashire Telegraph’s health expert, Dr Tom Smith, said: “I think it’s wonderful that there is a fall in teenage pregnancies in East Lancashire.

“Whilst, purely in a medical sense, woman are capable of having babies at a young age, they are not mentally, psychologically or socially able to do so.

“It brings all sorts of problems for both the mother and the father and it’s always difficult for people younger than 20 to deal with that.

East Lancashire still has some of the highest rates of teen pregnancies in the country.

The ONS revealed in April that out of 324 local authorities in England and Wales, Burnley ranked at 19, Pendle at 53, Hyndburn at 59, Blackburn and Darwen at 105, and Rossendale at 113.

And each area reported a rise in the number of under 18s getting pregnant last year, compared to 2012.

Only Ribble Valley bucked the trend, ranking at 281.