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1999 Vital Statistics

The estimated number of live births in New Zealand in the June 1999 year totalled 56,843. This compares with 56,514 births in the June 1998 year, Deputy Government Statistician Dianne Macaskill said today.

Birth rates for 1999 suggest that New Zealand women average 1.97 births per woman, which is marginally below the level (2.10 births per woman) required for the population to replace itself, without migration. Sub-replacement fertility is quite common across the developed world, including Australia, Canada, England and Wales, and the United States. Some European countries, notably Italy and Spain, have recorded fertility rates of below 1.3 births per woman in recent years.

The trend away from early childbearing is continuing with the number of New Zealand women having a child in their teens or early 20s declining. The 30-34 year age group is now the second commonest age group for childbearing. In the June 1999 year, 112 out of every 1,000 women aged 30-34 years gave birth, well up from 105 per 1,000 in 1991. The estimated average age of New Zealand women giving birth is now 29.1 years, compared with 28.9 years in 1998 and 27.8 years in 1991.

Deaths registered in the June 1999 year totalled 27,202, up 0.8 per cent on the June 1998 year (26,984). Births exceeded deaths (called the natural increase) by 29,641 in 1999 compared with 29,530 in 1998. The rate of natural increase of the population remained unchanged at 7.8 per 1,000 mean population.

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