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Birth rate reaches 2.1 births per woman

19 November 2007

Birth rate reaches 2.1 births per woman

New Zealand women averaged 2.1 births per woman in the September 2007 year, Statistics New Zealand said today. This level of fertility was last reached in 1992. Although this represents an increase from recent years, the rate has been relatively stable at around 2.0 births per woman over the last 20 years. In contrast, during 1948–1967 women averaged 3.8 births, with the birth rate peaking at 4.3 in 1961.

There were 62,360 births registered in New Zealand in 2007, up 3,250 (5.5 percent) from the September 2006 year. There were more births to women in all age groups compared with 2006. One-third (1,150) of the increase occurred in the 25–29 year age group, while women aged 35–39 years contributed an extra 790 births (one-quarter of the increase).

The median age (half are younger, and half older, than this age) of New Zealand women giving birth was just above 30 years and has been relatively stable since 2002. The median age of women giving birth to their first child was 28 years in the year ended September 2007.

A newborn girl can expect to live 81.9 years, and a newborn boy 77.9 years. Life tables for 2004–2006 show that the gap between female and male life expectancy has narrowed from 6.4 years in 1975–1977 to 4.1 years. Life expectancy in 1975–1977 was 75.5 years for females and 69.0 years for males. Deaths registered in the September 2007 year totalled 28,150, of which 300 were infant deaths (under one year of age). The infant mortality rate (infant deaths per 1,000 live births) was 4.9 in the September 2007 year, down from 6.9 per 1,000 in 1997.

Births exceeded deaths by 34,220 in the September 2007 year, the highest natural increase since 1991. Geoff Bascand Government Statistician 19 November 2007


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