Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Research Confirms Diversity Of NZ Families

Research Confirms Diversity Of New Zealand Families

A report released today by the Ministry of Social Development provides a detailed picture of how the New Zealand family has changed in recent decades. The report was commissioned from the Population Studies Centre, University of Waikato.

Patterns of Family Formation and Change in New Zealand describes a range of changes over recent decades in patterns of family formation, dissolution and reconstitution. In particular, it details changes in the age of women at first marriage, rates of cohabitation, age at first birth, rates of separation and repartnering, and the extent to which children live in different family situations such as sole-parent and blended families.

Launching the report today, Dr Arunachalam Dharmalingam, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at Waikato University, said many of the trends that the report describes are well established.

“The value of the report is that it provides quantitative information about these trends. It also confirms that families are diverse and that families change in form over time.”

Dr Dharmalingam said one of the key findings is that children are being raised in an increasingly diverse range of family circumstances.

“More children are being raised in sole-parent and blended families, and children are exposed to a range of different family situations as their families change around them.

Dr Dharmalingam said that the report findings would assist in the development of public policy to ensure that the interests of children living in such families are protected.

“I hope that the report will also contribute to an informed public debate about changes that are affecting families and children in New Zealand.”

Key findings of the report The age at which women first marry has increased. Young women are now more likely to cohabit than marry in their first union.

The proportion of women who are in a relationship has remained steady as the two trends have counterbalanced each other.

The number of couples who separate has increased.

About one woman in three separates within 20 years of first marrying.

Couples are most likely to separate in the early years of marriage, with the likelihood of separating declining as the marriage continues.

Women who married at a younger age are more likely to separate.

Separated people are increasingly likely to form a new relationship.

One woman in three has entered a new partnership within two years of separation.

About three women in four has repartnered within 10 years.

Women who are older at separation and women with children are less likely to repartner.

The longer a person is separated, the less likely they are to repartner.

The age at which women have their first child has been steadily rising.

Intervals between births have also been increasing. In recent years, births have been more common outside marriage.

Births to women in their teenage years are especially likely to be outside marriage.

Due to increasing rates of separation and childbirth outside marriage, rates of sole parenthood have risen significantly in recent decades.

Nearly half of mothers have spent some time as a sole mother before they turn 50.

Young mothers are the most likely to be sole parents.

Young mothers, those in professional occupations and those with older children are most likely to move out of sole parenthood.

Blended families are those that include children from a prior union of one or both partners.

Around a fifth of women have spent some time living in a blended family.

One in eight of these families included children from previous unions of both partners, which equates to around 2.5% of all women.

Children are staying longer at home. Girls leave home at a younger age than boys.

Children, especially girls, are most likely to leave blended families early and least likely to leave intact families early.

Ends

About the Authors Dr Dharmalingam is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at Waikato University. Professor Ian Pool is Professor of Demography at the University of Waikato. Dr Janet Sceats is Managing Director of Portal Consulting and Associates Ltd in Hamilton. Ross Mackay is a Principal Advisor in the Ministry of Social Development.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news