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Fewer Babies and Deaths in 2000

Births and Deaths: December 2000 quarter

Fewer Babies and Deaths in 2000

The number of live births registered in New Zealand in the December 2000 year totalled 56,597, about 0.8 per cent fewer than in 1999 (57,053), Deputy Government Statistician Dianne Macaskill said today when releasing the latest vital statistics.

Birth rates for 2000 suggest that New Zealand women 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. However, our fertility rate exceeds those in Australia, Canada, England and Wales, France, Japan, the Netherlands and Sweden by at least 10 per cent.

The trend towards delayed motherhood is continuing. In the December 2000 year, the 25-29 and the 30-34 year age groups were the most common ages for childbearing, both had fertility rates of 115 births per 1,000 women. This is a significant departure from the early 1970s when women aged 20-24 years had the highest fertility rate (201 per 1,000), followed closely by the 25-29 year age group (191 per 1,000). The fertility rate for the 30-34 year olds at that time was half of that for those aged 25-29 years. The average age of New Zealand women giving birth is now 29.4 years, compared with 27.6 years in 1990 and 25.6 years in the early 1970s. Therefore, New Zealand women today are having children about four years later than their counterparts 30 years ago.

Deaths registered in the December 2000 year totalled 26,663, down 1,459 or 5.2 per cent from 1999 (28,122). As the decrease in deaths was greater than the decrease in live births, the gap between births and deaths (called the natural increase of population) increased by 1,003 or 3.5 per cent from 28,931 in 1999 to 29,934 in 2000. The rate of natural increase was 7.8 per 1,000 mean population in 2000, compared with 10.0 per 1,000 in 1990.


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