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Maternity: Twice as many hospital deliveries to women living in the most deprived areas of England

December 05, 2013: The rate of delivery to women living in the most deprived areas(2) of the country was double that of women in the least deprived areas, new figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show.

*HSCIC must be quoted as the source of these figures

*Regional figures are available

Today's figures show the rate of hospital delivery to women living in the most deprived areas in England was 37.2 per 1,000 population3 (95,370 deliveries4 in total) compared to 18.6 per 1,000 (47,710 deliveries in total) in the least deprived areas.

New figures for 2012-13 also show a national fall in the number of teenage5 deliveries; in 2012-13 there were 30,790 teenage deliveries which was 8.4 per cent fewer than in 2011-12 where there were 33,620, and this is a substantial fall (of 27.8 per cent) on teenage deliveries in 2007-08 (42,670).

In 2012-13 there were considerably more deliveries to teenage mothers living in the most deprived areas (7,640 or 31.1 per 1,000 teenage girls) than to those living in the least deprived areas (800 or 3.6 per 1,000 teenage girls).6

These figures show a narrowing gap between rates of delivery in the most deprived areas and those in the least deprived. In 2011-12 delivery rates in the most deprived areas were 34.1 per 1,000 teenage girls (8,330 deliveries) and in the least deprived areas this was 4.1 per 1,000 teenage girls (920 deliveries). In 2007-08 rates of teenage deliveries were 47.7 in the most deprived areas (11,620 deliveries in total) and 4.4 in the least deprived areas (980 deliveries in total).

Today's report, NHS Maternity Statistics, England: 2012-13, presents facts and figures about NHS hospital deliveries, from gestation and delivery type to complications and birth weight. Hospital maternity activity in 2012-13 in England showed:

  • There were 671,260 deliveries in NHS hospitals overall, a 0.3 per cent rise on the overall figure in 2011-12 when there were 668,940.
  • The overall rate of delivery in teenagers was 13.7 per 1,000 of the teenage population - the highest rate was for mothers living in North East Strategic Health Authority (SHA) (18.3) and the lowest rate was in London SHA (10.5).
  • One in four deliveries involved a caesarean section7 (25.5 per cent) continuing a slight increase on last year (25.0 per cent) and five years ago (24.6 per cent).
  • Caesarean rates varied by ethnicity of mother; one in three mothers of black ethnicity had a caesarean (33.5 per cent, or 10,890 out of 32,460) and one in four mothers of either Asian or white ethnicity had a caesarean (27.2 per cent, or 19,020 out of 69,970 and 24.8 per cent, or 116,960 out of 471,180).
  • The highest rate of caesarean delivery was in mothers aged 40 years and above (10,620 out of 25,310, or 42.0 per cent) compared to only one in seven mothers under 20 (4,070 out of 29,860, or 13.6 per cent).

Read the full report at


Notes to editors

1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 220 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.

2. Deprivation in this report is based on the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), a composite score of relative deprivation based on a number of domains - England can be subdivided into more than 32,000 Lower Super Output Areas (geographic areas of similar population size) which are then scored using the IMD and ranked. This publication groups those ranked areas into 10, known as deciles, from most deprived to least. Please note that the 2001 Lower Super Output Area boundaries, the 2010 version of the IMD ranking, and mid-2011 population estimates have been used in this report.

3. Population is all women 0 to 120 years old.

4. Rates per 1,000 population have been rounded to one decimal place.

5. Teenage mothers are aged between13 years and 19 years at the time of delivery.

6. Based on overall teenage population in England (mid-2011 population estimates) there were 243,900 teenagers living in the most deprived areas and 222,500 teenagers living in the least deprived areas.

7. The methodology to calculate the caesarean rate was updated in 2012-13, this is described in the full report.

8. Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data on deliveries that did not take place in NHS hospitals has been excluded from this publication as the quality of this information is poor (e.g. home deliveries or deliveries in private hospitals).

9. Percentages have been calculated from records excluding those where the method of delivery is not known.

10. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10. Exact figures are within the report. Percentages have been rounded to one decimal place and are based on exact figures.

11. For media enquiries please contact or 0845 257 6990

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