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Decrease in Infant Mortality Rate

Embargoed until 10:45am – 17 August 2006

Decrease in Infant Mortality Rate

New Zealand's infant mortality rate was 4.8 deaths per 1,000 live births in the June 2006 year, Statistics New Zealand said today. (Infant deaths are defined as deaths under one year of age.) The figure for the June 2006 year is an improvement from 5.5 per 1,000 in the June 2005 year, and continues the decrease from 6.7 per 1,000 in 1996 and 13.9 per 1,000 in 1976.

There were 58,250 live births registered in New Zealand in the June 2006 year. This is above the annual average of 56,850 experienced during the last decade.

Annual birth rates for the June 2006 year suggest that New Zealand women average 2.0 births per woman.

New Zealand's total fertility rate has been relatively stable over the last 20 years.

The median age of women giving birth to their first child was 28 years in the June 2006 year. The median age of all women giving birth was 30 years, compared with 29 years in 1996 and 25 years in 1976.

There were 27,300 deaths registered in the June 2006 year, compared with 28,440 in the June 2005 year.

Just over three-quarters of the deceased were aged 65 years and over, while 5 percent were aged under 40 years.

Natural increase (the excess of births over deaths) was 30,950 in the June 2006 year, accounting for about three-quarters of New Zealand's population growth. It is the highest natural increase recorded since the June 1994 year, when births exceeded deaths by 31,240.

Dallas Welch
Acting Government Statistician


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