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Trend Towards Later Parenthood Continues

Births and Deaths: September 2000 Quarter

Live births registered in the September 2000 year totalled 57,486, or 5 per cent fewer than the peak of 60,464 births registered in the September 1991 year, Deputy Government Statistician Dianne Macaskill said when releasing the latest statistics on births and deaths.

Annual birth rates for the September 2000 year suggest that New Zealand women average 2.03 births per woman. This is the highest level for the last six years, but is still 3 per cent 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.

The trend towards later parenthood is continuing. In the September 2000 year, the 30-34 year age group was the most common age group for childbearing, with a fertility rate of 117 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. 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 27.9 years in 1992 and 25.5 years in the early 1970s.

Deaths registered in the September 2000 year totalled 26,650, down 4.6 per cent on the September 1999 year (27,937). There was a natural increase in the population with births exceeding deaths by 30,836 in the September 2000 year, up 7.6 per cent on 28,660 in 1999. The rate of natural increase was 8.1 per 1,000 mean population, compared with 7.5 and 9.2 per 1,000 in 1999 and 1992 respectively.

Dianne Macaskill DEPUTY GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN

END


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