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Births And Deaths in 1999 - Statistics NZ

Released at 3pm on day of release |

Births and Deaths: December 1999 quarter

Births and Deaths in 1999

The number of live births in New Zealand in the December 1999 year totalled 57,473, about 3,000 or 4 per cent fewer than the peak of 60,153 recorded nearly a decade earlier in 1990.

This drop is partly due to a decrease in the number of women in prime childbearing ages (20-34 years) and partly because fewer of these women had children, Deputy Government Statistician Dianne Macaskill said today when releasing the latest vital statistics.

Birth rates for 1999 suggest that New Zealand women now average 2.01 births per woman, which is about 4 per cent below the level (2.10 births per woman) required for the population to replace itself, without migration. Significantly, in 17 out of the last 20 years, New Zealand fertility has been below the replacement level. Sub-replacement fertility is now quite common across the developed world. Some European countries, notably Italy and Spain, have recorded rates of below 1.3 births per woman in recent years, which is lower than our current level by about a third.

The trend towards delayed parenthood is consolidating, with fewer women having a child in their teens or early 20s. The average age of New Zealand women giving birth is now 29.2 years, compared with 27.6 years in 1990, a rise of 1.6 years.

Deaths registered in the December 1999 year totalled 28,117, up 7.3 per cent on the December 1998 year (26,206). Because the deaths increased by a greater margin than live births, the gap between births and deaths (called the natural increase of population) decreased by 1,689 or 0.5 per cent from 31,045 in 1998 to 29,356 in 1999.

Dianne Macaskill


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