In France, where there is less contraceptive use, only 0.9 of every 100 girls aged 15 to 19 have babies, according to the survey.The level in Germany is 1.1 per hundred girls while in Japan it is only 0.4 per hundred.
The findings bear out research last year at Southampton University which found that teenage girls in Britain have a sophisticated knowledge of contraception.
For example, seven out of ten knew the morning-after pill was effective after more than 24 hours.
A report last month from Prince Charles's charity the Prince's Trust said teenage single girls on sink estates admire their peers who have given birth and often seek to copy their status and acquire the free flat they think having a baby usually brings.
The Family Planning Association insisted yesterday, however: 'Contraceptive use and teenage pregnancy are really two different issues and it doesn't help to lump them together.' British rates of teenage pregnancy remain well behind those of the U. One in 20 girls there has babies each year compared to one in 34 in this country.
Last year more than 48,000 babies were born to teenage mothers in Britain.
They cost the taxpayer an estimated £125million in income support alone every year, apart from other costs such as assistance with rent and council tax.The easy availability of contraception led to steep falls in the teenage birth rate across Europe in the early Seventies.Britain still has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Western Europe despite being one of the world's biggest users of contraceptives.The figures, which emerged yesterday in a large- scale international study, appeared to explode claims by the sex education lobby that the UK's sky-high teenage birth rate is down to ignorance.It showed that four out of five females between the ages of 15 and 44 in Britain - 80 per cent -use some form of contraception. S., 75 per cent in France and 59 per cent in Japan.Britain, nevertheless, has a sky-high level of teenage pregnancies, with 2.9 out of every 100 girls aged between 15 and 19 giving birth every year.