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Early Years and Maternity

Demographic Information for Early Years and Maternity (July 2016)

This summary document includes demographic information on numbers of children and young people in Wirral, population projections for children, deprivation, prevalence of low birthweight, obesity and several other key health issues in the early years.

Summary highlights:

  • The number of births in Wirral in 2014 was 3,536, the lowest number for a decade

  • There was also a drop between 2012 and 2013 of 7% and a smaller drop of 0.7% between 2013 and 2014. This appears to signal the end of a long period where the number of births increased year on year in Wirral

  • The general fertility rate continued to drop in England in 2014, but there was a very slight upturn in Wirral in 2014. This may be because although the number of births has decreased, the number of women aged between 15-44 in Wirral also dropped

  • Children and young people aged 0-19 make up around one in four (23%) of the Wirral population (74,452 in 2015)

  • The number of young people in Wirral is projected to remain fairly stable for the next 25 years, increasing by just 1% by 2037 (an increase of around 200 children)

  • The number of births are projected to decrease by around 5% by 2037

  • The number of women of child bearing age (15-44 years) is projected to decrease in Wirral and this is likely to have an impact on the number of future maternities

  • Wirral has a slightly higher proportion of births to younger mothers (aged under 20), and a lower proportion of births to older mothers (aged 35+), compared to England overall

  • Wirral has a much lower percentage of births to mothers born outside the UK compared to England overall (7% in Wirral compared to 28% in England). The majority of foreign born mothers were from European countries (114 mothers in total from EU, new EU and non-EU countries), followed by the Middle East and Asia (90 mothers)

  • Wirral has a greater proportion of births registered solely or jointly by parents living at different addresses (this can indicate a greater need for social care) compared to England and the North-West overall

  • The difference in birth rates between affluent and more deprived areas needs consideration in the planning for neonatal and early years care

  • Low birth weight is more common in the more deprived wards in Wirral. The overall Wirral rates of low birth weight babies in 2012/15 was 6.5%, but in Liscard ward, the rate was 9.6% - almost one in ten babies, compared to just 2.8% (one in every 36 babies) in Greasby, Frankby and Irby ward

  • There has been no improvement locally in the proportion of mothers still breastfeeding at 6-8 weeks for the last 3 years in Wirral. In addition, Wirral has a much lower breastfeeding rate than in England overall at 6-8 weeks (31% in Wirral compared to 44% in England for 2014/15)

  • Overweight and obesity in Wirral children appears to be related to deprivation, with more deprived wards having higher rates of children of an unhealthy weight. In Birkenhead & Tranmere ward for example, almost one in three Reception aged children are an unhealthy weight

  • The most common unintentional injury in the 0-4s was a fall, with their own home was the place an injury was most likely to be sustained.

  • Unintentional injuries in the 0-4s resulted in just under 3,000 attendances at Arrowe Park in 2015/16, a reduction on the previous year, with children most likely to attend being those who lived closest to Arrowe Park. This is a slightly different picture to nationally, where deprivation is a more obvious factor

  • The 2015 IDACI (Income Deprivation Index Affecting Children Index) showed that the proportion of children living in low income households ranged from 4% in Heswall, to 48% in Birkenhead & Tranmere ward

Further information: