Press release

Abortion statistics, England & Wales: 2011

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The following National Statistics were released today by the Department of Health:

Main findings

In 2011, for women resident in England and Wales:

  • The total number of abortions was 189,931, 0.2% more than in 2010 (189,574) and 7.7% more than in 2001 (176,364).

  • The age-standardised abortion rate was 17.5 per 1,000 resident women aged 15-44, the same as in 2010, but 2.3% higher than in 2001 (17.1) and more than double the rate of 8.0 recorded in 1970.

  • The abortion rate was highest at 33 per 1,000 for women aged 20, the same as in 2010 and in 2001.

  • The under-16 abortion rate was 3.4 per 1,000 women and the under-18 rate was 15.0 per 1,000 women, both lower than in 2010 (3.9 and 16.5 per 1,000 women respectively) and in the year 2001 (3.7 and 18.0 per 1,000 women respectively).

  • 96% of abortions were funded by the NHS.  Over half (61%) took place in the independent sector under NHS contract, up from 59% in 2010 and 2% in 1981.

  • 91% of abortions were carried out at under 13 weeks gestation.  78% were at under 10 weeks compared to 77% in 2010 and 58% in 2001.

  • Medical abortions accounted for 47% of the total, up from 43% in 2010 and 13% in 2001.

  • 2,307 abortions (1%) were carried out under ground E (risk that the child would be born handicapped).

Non-residents:

  • In 2011, there were 6,151 abortions for non-residents carried out in hospitals and clinics in England and Wales (6,535 in 2010).  The 2011 total is the lowest in any year since 1969.
  2010 2011
All abortions 189,574 (100%) 189,931
3-9 weeks 145.163 (76.6%) 147,636 (77.7%)
10-12 weeks 27,572 (14.5%) 25,540 (13.4%)
13-19 weeks 14,095 (7.4%) 14,026 (7.4%)
20-21 weeks 1,571 (0.8%) 1,465 (0.8%)
22-23 weeks 1,026 (0.5%) 1,118 (0.6%)
24 weeks and over 147(0.1%) 146 (0.1%)

Please refer to Department of Health’s website for detailed figures and for detailed notes.

Contacts

To contact the Media Centre, please refer to the Department of Health’s website for the relevant contact  details: http://mediacentre.dh.gov.uk/about/