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

Boroughs in the area have some of the highest rates of teen pregnancies in the country, a report published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed.

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.

The worst in East Lancashire was Burnley, where an average 56.8 out of 1,000 girls aged under 18 fall pregnant. Last year, that figure stood at 50.1.

Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said: “Burnley has always had a very high pregnancy rate for teens. I think it’s down to education to be quite honest.”

Nationally, the report found a link between teenage pregnancy rates and deprivation.

Teenage girls living in areas with high rates of unemployment, and more child poverty, are more likely to conceive.

Hyndburn and Haslingden MP Graham Jones said: “Maybe there are people who feel there is no hope for them, or the environment they are in does not push them towards education and training.

“Fags, booze, and casual sex are life choices. It’s important that people realise living a healthy and educated life is leading a better life.”