Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Plummeting Fertility Rate Requires Urgent Debate

New Zealand's fertility rate has reached an all-time low, with an average of 1.60 births per woman in the year ending March 2021, well below the population replacement level of 2.1 required. Statistics NZ also says that there does not appear to have been an increase in births as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown during the first half of 2020.

“This should be sounding alarm bells for politicians and policymakers in New Zealand. With a declining fertility rate comes a reliance on migration to provide for an aging population – but all countries around the world will be competing for that migration, because most countries are facing the same dilemma. We need a younger population to provide a workforce for economic growth. An aging population will also place a burden on the economy through increasing health care, aged care, and other fiscal costs such as the government pension,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First New Zealand.

And it’s not just an issue for New Zealand. According to a report by Dutch researchers last year, the 1950s below-replacement fertility was virtually non-existent, whereas for the period 2010–2015 the fertility rate was below 2.1 children in approximately 40% of the countries.

Researchers at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, published in the Lancet last year, predicts that the worldwide fertility rate will fall below 1.7 by 2100. 183 out of 195 countries are predicted to have a fertility rate below the replacement level. That means that the number of under-fives will fall from 681 million in 2017 to 401 million in 2100, but the number of over 80-year-olds will soar from 141 million in 2017 to 866 million in 2100.

Lindsay Mitchell, author of Families: Ever Fewer or No Children, How Worried Should We Be?“ - a recent report from Family First NZ - says “Without population replacement or growth, economies decline. A nation's strength lies in its young: their energy, innovation, risk-taking and entrepreneurship. The new blood drives the exchange of ideas and experimentation. If these attributes aren't home-grown, they have to be imported. At an individual level, single person households are the fastest growing household type in New Zealand. Increasingly people face old-age with few or no family supports.”

“Whether the solution is financial incentives, enhanced maternity and paternity leave, free childcare, employment rights, or simply migration through open borders, New Zealand needs to be having this discussion. We need to ask whether kiwi families are delaying or not having children, what factors this is based on, and whether their decision is based on the most accurate information available. The future of our country depends on it,” says Mr McCoskrie.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Covid-19: Covid Alert Level 2 in Wellington till the end of the week

The Wellington region will move to alert level 2 from 6pm tonight until 11.59pm on Sunday.
The announcement comes after a person who travelled from Sydney to Wellington tested positive for the virus upon their return.... More>>



Environment: Bringing Back The Health Of Hauraki Gulf

New marine protection areas and restrictions on fishing are among a raft of changes being put in place to protect the Hauraki Gulf for future generations.
The new strategy, Revitalising the Gulf – Government action on the Sea Change Plan, released today... More>>


NZ First Returns: Winston Peters - AGM Address

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a pleasure to be in Auckland for the 28th New Zealand First Party Conference. It is our intention and mission to remain the most successful political party outside of National and Labour in the last three decades... More>>

Government: New Members Appointed To Waitangi Tribunal

Minister for Māori Development, Hon Willie Jackson, today announced the appointment of three new members to the Waitangi Tribunal and the reappointment of one existing member to the Waitangi Tribunal... More>>

NZNO: Nurses Reject DHB Offer And Confirm Strike Action

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation says its 30,000 members who work in DHBs have voted overwhelmingly to reject a second offer in their current round of multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) negotiations... More>>





InfoPages News Channels