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Newborns Look Forward to Longer Lives

Births and Deaths: June 2005 quarter

Newborns Look Forward to Longer Lives

There were 57,990 live births registered in New Zealand in the June 2005 year, Statistics New Zealand reported today. The 28,270 girls and 29,720 boys registered can expect to live longer than earlier generations. The New Zealand abridged life table for 2002–2004 indicates that a newborn girl can expect to live, on average, 81.3 years, and a newborn boy 77.0 years. This represents gains of 5.8 years for females and 8.0 years for males since 1975–1977 (about the time their parents would have been born).

Annual birth rates for the June 2005 year suggest that New Zealand women average 2.0 births per woman. This is slightly below the level required for a population to replace itself without migration (2.1 births per woman). Sub-replacement fertility is common among developed countries, including France (1.9 births per woman), Australia (1.8), the Netherlands, England and Wales, and Sweden (all 1.7). The United States' total fertility rate has been similar to New Zealand's in recent years.

Birth rates for New Zealand women aged 30 years and over have increased over the last decade.

In the June 2005 year, women aged 30–34 years had the highest fertility rate (120 births per 1,000 women aged 30–34 years), up from 106 births per 1,000 in 1995. In contrast, the fertility rate for women aged under 30 has decreased. The largest decrease occurred among women aged 20–24 years; down 17 percent, from 84 per 1,000 in 1995 to 70 per 1,000 in 2005. Despite the trend towards lower fertility among women aged under 30 years, their combined fertility rate (103 births per 1,000 women aged under 30 years) is still slightly higher than for women aged 30 years and over (98 births per 1,000 women aged 30 years and over).

The median age (half are younger, and half older, than this age) of New Zealand women giving birth is now 30 years, compared with 29 years in 1995, and 25 years in 1975. The median age of women giving birth to their first child was 28 years in the year ended June 2005.

Deaths registered in the June 2005 year totalled 28,440, compared with 28,130 in the June 2004 year. The median age at death in the June 2005 year was 76.0 years for males and 82.0 years for females. There were 14,030 male deaths and 14,400 female deaths. Just over three-quarters of the deceased were aged 65 years or over, while only 6 percent were aged under 40 years.

@ The infant (under one year of age) mortality rate has dropped over the last decade, from 7.0 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1995 to 5.5 per 1,000 in the June 2005 year.

The natural increase of population (excess of births over deaths) was 29,550 in the June 2005 year. Natural increase accounted for 77 percent of the population growth during the June 2005 year, and net migration the remaining 23 percent.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

ENDS

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