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Statistics On Teen Pregnancy In British Columbia

Teen Pregnancy in British Columbia: A Statistical Overview


Teen pregnancy, defined as pregnancy in females aged 15-19 years, remains a significant public health concern in British Columbia (BC). Despite declining rates in recent years, BC’s teen pregnancy rate remains higher than the national average. This article provides a comprehensive statistical overview of teen pregnancy in BC, examining trends, risk factors, and the impact on young mothers and their children.

Trends in Teen Pregnancy

Over the past two decades, teen pregnancy rates in BC have declined steadily. In 2000, the rate was 33.7 pregnancies per 1,000 females aged 15-19 years. By 2020, it had fallen to 12.4 pregnancies per 1,000, a decrease of 63%. This decline is attributed to increased access to contraception, comprehensive sex education, and improved socioeconomic conditions.

However, despite the overall decline, disparities persist across different population groups. Indigenous youth, youth living in poverty, and youth with mental health challenges continue to experience disproportionately high rates of teen pregnancy.

Risk Factors

Numerous factors contribute to the risk of teen pregnancy, including:

  • Socioeconomic status: Youth living in low-income households are more likely to experience teen pregnancy due to limited access to healthcare, education, and support services.
  • Education: Youth who drop out of school or have low educational attainment are at increased risk of teen pregnancy.
  • Peer pressure: Youth who have friends who are pregnant or who engage in risky sexual behaviors are more likely to become pregnant themselves.
  • Mental health: Youth with mental health challenges, such as depression or anxiety, are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors and experience unplanned pregnancies.
  • Substance use: Youth who use alcohol or drugs are more likely to engage in unprotected sex and experience unplanned pregnancies.

Impact on Young Mothers and Their Children

Teen pregnancy has significant consequences for both young mothers and their children. Young mothers are more likely to experience health complications during pregnancy and childbirth, including pre-eclampsia, premature birth, and low birth weight. They are also more likely to drop out of school, experience unemployment, and live in poverty.

Children born to teen mothers face numerous challenges, including:

  • Health problems: Children born to teen mothers are more likely to experience health problems, such as developmental delays, respiratory issues, and chronic diseases.
  • Educational challenges: Children born to teen mothers are more likely to have difficulty in school and drop out.
  • Social problems: Children born to teen mothers are more likely to experience social problems, such as poverty, crime, and involvement in the child welfare system.

Prevention and Intervention Strategies

Preventing teen pregnancy requires a comprehensive approach that addresses both individual risk factors and broader societal factors. Effective prevention strategies include:

  • Comprehensive sex education: Providing youth with accurate and age-appropriate information about sexual health, contraception, and pregnancy prevention.
  • Access to contraception: Ensuring that youth have access to a range of contraceptive methods, including long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs).
  • Youth-friendly healthcare services: Providing youth with confidential and non-judgmental healthcare services, including pregnancy testing, contraception, and counseling.
  • Support for young mothers: Providing young mothers with support services, such as housing, childcare, and education, to help them overcome the challenges of parenting.


Teen pregnancy remains a significant public health concern in British Columbia, despite declining rates in recent years. Disparities persist across different population groups, and the consequences for young mothers and their children are substantial. Effective prevention and intervention strategies are essential to reduce teen pregnancy rates and improve the health and well-being of young people in BC.


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