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

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>

 

Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election