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Number of children born alive


The 'number of children born alive' to each female aged 15 years and over who usually resides in New Zealand. Foetal deaths and stillborn children are not included. Stepchildren, adopted children, foster children and wards of the state are also not included.

Relationship to questionnaire(s)

Data on number of children born alive comes from question 25 on the individual form (PDF 395kb).

Subject population

The subject population is the people, families, households or dwellings to whom the variable applies.

The subject population for this variable is the female census usually resident population aged 15 years and over.

Non-response rate

The 2006 non-response rate was 6.7 percent, and 2.8 percent objected to answering the question.

In 1996 the non-response rate was 5.6 percent, and 5.0 percent objected to answering the question.

Quality Management Strategy priority level

Number of children born alive is a supplementary variable.

The Census Quality Management Strategy assigns a priority level to all census variables.

Supplementary variables do not fit directly in with the main purpose of a census, but are still of importance to certain groups. These variables have third priority in terms of effort and resources.

All data must meet minimum quality standards in order to make it suitable for use.

Comparability with 1996 and 2001 Census data

This is a cyclic topic and was not included in the 2001 Census. It was last included in 1996.

There are issues affecting the comparability of this data with 1996 Census data:

  • The level of data quality achieved was higher in 2006 than in 1996, due to improvements in processing technology.
  • The 2006 data was not subject to the same type of editing as the 1996 data. This affects the comparability of the data for younger females. If the editing approach used in 1996 had been followed in 2006, then the number of children born alive to younger females would have been edited to a lower number in a few instances.

Significant issues

There are no significant issues in 2006 that users should be aware of.

Other things to be aware of

  • The instruction used on the 1996 Census form to ‘count only any who were born alive’ was not used in 2006.
  • All census data was subject to considerable checks (including edits) during processing and evaluation, to ensure that it meets quality standards and is suitable for use. These checks were applied to data supplied both on paper and on Internet forms. In addition to these quality checks, the Internet form had built-in editing functionality that directed respondents to the appropriate questions and ensured that their responses were valid. As a result of this, data from Internet forms may be of higher overall quality than data from paper forms. The significance of this will depend on the particular type of analysis being done.
  • There were differences between how the forms were completed on the Internet and on paper for this variable:
    • The Internet form did not allow inconsistent multiple responses to the number of children born alive question. If 'none' was selected, the number of children born alive could not be answered and vice versa. (However, object to answer could be selected with any other option or on its own.) Inconsistent multiple responses to this question were possible when forms were completed on paper.
    • On the Internet, non-numeric answers, negative numbers, or responses greater than 99 for the number born alive were not possible. On the paper form it was possible for a respondent to give a non-numeric answer, a negative number, or a number greater than 99, even though the space provided only allowed for a one- or two-digit answer.
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