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Fewer Births in September 2002 Year

Fewer Births in September 2002 Year

About 54,000 live births were registered in New Zealand in the September 2002 year, 1,900 or 3 percent fewer than in 2001 (55,900), Statistics New Zealand reported today. The latest figure is 6,500 less than the peak of 60,500 recorded in the September 1991 year. This drop is largely due to a decrease in the number of women in prime childbearing ages and partly because fewer of these women are having children.

The trend toward delayed motherhood is consolidating. The median age (half are older than this age, and half younger) of New Zealand women giving birth is now 30.1 years, compared with 28.1 years in 1992, and 24.9 years in the early 1970s.

Deaths registered in the September 2002 year totalled 28,100, up 2 percent on the September 2001 year (27,600). The abridged life table for the New Zealand population for 1999–2001 indicates that a newborn girl can expect to live on average 80.9 years, and a newborn boy 76.0 years. This represents a gain of 2.2 years for females and 3.1 years for males since 1990–92.

With fewer births and more deaths, the natural increase of population (the excess of births over deaths) contracted by 2,400, from 28,300 in the September 2001 year to 25,900 in the September 2002 year. Natural increase accounted for about two-fifths of the population growth during the September 2002 year, with net migration accounting for the remaining three-fifths.

In the September 2002 year, Joshua was the most popular baby boy's name in New Zealand, and Jessica the most popular baby girl's name. There were almost 500 boys named Joshua (1.8 percent of all baby boys), and 330 girls named Jessica (1.2 percent of all baby girls). Other popular girls' names in 2002 included Olivia, Hannah, Emma, Sophie, Grace, Sarah, Ella, Georgia, and Emily, while for boys, Jack, Samuel, Benjamin, Ethan, James, Liam, Thomas, Jacob, and Daniel appeared in the top 10 names.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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