BRADFORD had the third highest birth rate in the country last year, figures revealed.

The London borough of Newham, one of the most deprived parts of the UK, had 5,100 babies born in 2003 - a general fertility rate (GFR) of 80.3 babies per 1,000 women of child-bearing age.

Hackney in east London also had a high birth rate, with a GFR of 75, followed by Bradford with 74.3 and Luton with 74.1.

But the area with the fewest births was Ceredigion in Wales with a GFR of just 39.3, followed by York with 45.

The figures, published by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), showed that across Britain 673,683 were born last year among around 12.4 million women of child-bearing age - 55 babies per 1,000 women of child-bearing age.

A national breakdown by region by the CSP put London in top place, with a GFR of 61.3.

The figures came as the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Women's Health (ACPWH) published a new leaflet - Fit & Safe - for expectant mothers who would like to do exercise but need advice on how to do it safely.

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