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Fewer Babies And Deaths

Births and Deaths: June 2001 Quarter

The number of live births registered in New Zealand in the June 2001 year totalled 56,212, according to the latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand. This is about 1,800 or 3 per cent fewer than the previous year (58,033) and about 7 per cent below the peak level of 60,427 recorded nearly a decade earlier in 1992.

Annual birth rates for the June 2001 year suggest that New Zealand women average 2.01 births per woman. This is about 4 per cent below the level (2.10 births per woman) required for the population to replace itself, without migration. New Zealand's fertility rate, however, is at least 10 per cent higher than the fertility rate for Australia, Canada, England and Wales, France and Sweden.

The trend towards delayed parenthood is continuing. On average, New Zealand women are now having children four years later than their counterparts in the early 1970s, when early marriage and early childbearing was the norm. The average age of women giving birth is 29.4 years.

The fertility rates for almost all women fell during the June 2001 year. The fertility rate for teenagers decreased by 5 per cent from 30 per 1,000 in June 2000 to 28 per 1,000 in June 2001.

Deaths registered in the June 2001 year totalled 26,860, down 3.1 per cent on the June 2000 year (27,725). Births exceeded deaths (called the natural increase of population) by 29,352 in 2001 compared with 30,308 in 2000 and 33,440 in 1992. The rate of natural increase was 7.6 per 1,000 mean population, compared with 7.9 in 2000 and 9.6 per 1,000 in 1992.

New Zealanders continue to live longer. Latest abridged life tables for the New Zealand population indicate that a newborn baby boy can now expect to live 75.7 years and a newborn girl 80.8 years.

Brian Pink Government Statistician

END


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