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Delayed Parenthood Trend Continues

Births and Deaths: June 2000 quarter

Delayed Parenthood Trend Continues

The trend towards delayed parenthood is intensifying, says Acting Government Statistician, Dianne Macaskill. In the June 2000 year, the 30-34 year age group, with a fertility rate of 118 births per 1,000, became the most common age group for childbearing.

This is a significant departure from the early 1970s when early childbearing was the norm and women aged 20-24 years supported the highest fertility rate. The fertility rate for the 30-34 year olds at that time was only one-half of that for those aged 25-29 years. The average age of New Zealand women giving birth is now 29.3 years, compared with 27.9 years in 1992 and 25.5 years in the early 1970s.

Live births registered in the June 2000 year totalled 58,033, 4 per cent fewer than the peak of 60,427 recorded in 1992.

Annual birth rates for the June 2000 year suggest that New Zealand women average 2.05 births per woman. This is the highest level for the last six years, but still marginally below the level (2.10 births per woman) required for the population to replace itself, without migration. New Zealand fertility levels, however, exceed those in Australia, Canada, England and Wales, France, Japan, the Netherlands and Sweden, by at least 10 per cent.

Deaths registered in the June 2000 year totalled 27,725, up 1.9 per cent on the June 1999 year (27,202). Births exceeded deaths (called the natural increase of population) by 30,308 in 2000, up 3.0 per cent from 29,419 in 1999. The rate of natural increase was 7.9 per 1,000 mean population, compared with 7.7 in 1999 and 9.6 per 1,000 in 1992.


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