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Births Stable, Life Expectancy Still Increasing

Births and Deaths: September 2005 quarter

Births Stable, Life Expectancy Still Increasing

There were 57,620 live births registered in New Zealand in the September 2005 year, Statistics New Zealand said today. The 28,120 girls and 29,500 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 September 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 Australia (1.8 births per woman) and England and Wales (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 September 2005 year, women aged 30–34 years had the highest fertility rate (119 births per 1,000 women aged 30–34 years), up from 105 births per 1,000 in 1995. In contrast, the fertility rate for women aged under 30 has decreased. Despite the trend towards lower fertility among women aged under 30 years, their combined fertility rate (102 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 September 2005.

Deaths registered in the September 2005 year totalled 27,730. There were 13,990 female deaths and 13,740 male deaths. Just over three-quarters of the deceased were aged 65 years or over, while only 6 percent were aged under 40 years.

@ The natural increase of population (excess of births over deaths) was 29,890 in the September 2005 year. Natural increase accounted for about 80 percent of population growth during the September 2005 year, and net migration the remainder.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

ENDS

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