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Female/Male Life Expectancy Gap Narrows

Embargoed until 10:45am – 17 May 2007

Female/Male Life Expectancy Gap Narrows

A newborn girl can expect to live 81.9 years, and a newborn boy 77.9 years, Statistics New Zealand said today. Recently released life tables show that the gap between female and male life expectancy has narrowed from 6.4 years in 1975–1977 to 4.1 years in 2004–2006. Life expectancy in 1975–1977 was 75.5 years for females and 69.0 years for males.

There were 60,470 births registered in New Zealand in the March 2007 year, the highest number of registrations since 1974. Annual birth rates for the March 2007 year indicate that New Zealand women average 2.1 births per woman. Although this represents an increase on recent years, the rate has been relatively stable at around 2.0 births per woman over the last 20 years. In contrast, during 1948–1967 woman averaged 3.8 births per woman.

In the March 2007 year, women aged 30–34 years had the highest birth rate (125 births per 1,000 women aged 30–34 years) followed by those aged 25–29 years (109 births per 1,000 women).

The median age (half are younger, and half older, than this age) of New Zealand women giving birth is now 30 years, compared with 25 years in 1977. The median age of women giving birth to their first child was 28 years in the year ended March 2007.

Deaths registered in the March 2007 year totalled 28,460, of which 310 were infant deaths (under one year of age). The infant mortality rate (infant deaths per 1,000 live births) was 5.1 in the March 2007 year, down from 7.1 per 1,000 in 1997.

The natural increase of population (excess of births over deaths) was 32,010 in the March 2007 year, the highest natural increase since 1992. All regions in New Zealand had more births than deaths in the March 2007 year.

Dallas Welch (Mrs)
Acting Government Statistician


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