Maternity statistics for England have been published for the year ending March 2014. In England statistics are collected for ‘number of deliveries’ i.e. women giving birth, rather than ‘number of births’ i.e. babies born.

Key points

  • The number of deliveries in NHS hospitals decreased in the past year from 671,255 in 2012-13 to 646,904, a 3.6 per cent drop over the previous year.
  • The caesarean rate has increased by 0.7 per cent to 26.2 per cent (166,081) in 2013-14. There has been a rise in the number of elective caesareans (2.5 per cent) while emergency caesarean rates are down 1.8 per cent. This continues the trend of increasing elective caesarean rates but a drop in the emergency caesarean rates.
  • The induction rate is up 1.7 per cent to 25.0 per cent. This continues a recent upward trend.
  • The instrumental delivery rate has increased by 0.1 per cent this year to 12.9 per cent. This has reversed the halt in rising instrumental rates seen in 2012-13.
  • 60.9 per cent of women had a spontaneous delivery, the same as in 2012-13, but lower than in 2011-12 when it was 61.2 per cent.

  2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
Caesarean Rate 25.0% 25.5% 26.2%
 Elective  10.2% 10.7% 13.2%
 Emergency 14.8% 14.8% 13.0%
Instrumental Delivery Rate 12.9% 12.8% 12.9%
 Forceps  6.6%  6.8%  n/a
 Ventouse  6.3%  6.0%  n/a
Induction Rate 22.1% 23.3% 25.0%


The NHS Maternity Statistics, England: 2013-14 can be found on the Health and Social Care Information Centre website at

The maternity statistics are subject to HSCIC copyright.
Copyright © 2015, Health and Social Care Information Centre, HES analysis. All rights reserved.