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Auckland drives drop in births
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  17 August 2009

Births and Deaths: June 2009 quarter  –  Media Release

There were 62,960 live births registered in the June 2009 year, down 1,180 (2 percent) from the June 2008 year, Statistics New Zealand said today. This decrease was largely driven by fewer births in the Auckland region, down from 23,420 in 2008 to 22,370 in 2009. Despite the decrease, the latest national figure is 7 percent higher than the average of 58,600 births per year over the last decade, when the number of births varied from a low of 53,970 in the June 2002 year, to a high of 64,140 in the June 2008 year.

Live births registered in the June 2009 quarter totalled 15,460, a decrease of 1,200 (7 percent) compared with the June 2008 quarter (16,650).

Birth registrations for the June 2009 year show that 13 percent of mothers and 25 percent of babies identified with more than one ethnic group. Two-thirds of Māori babies and one-half of Pacific babies belonged to multiple ethnic groups, compared with just under one-third of babies within the European and Asian ethnic groups.

The birth rate was 2.1 births per woman in the June 2009 year, down from 2.2 in 2008. The current birth rate is around half the peak of 4.3 births per woman reached in 1961.

Deaths registered in the June 2009 year totalled 28,960, up from 28,690 in the June 2008 year. The number of deaths has gradually increased over time due to population growth, particularly in the older ages, partly offset by longer life expectancy. Deaths are projected to continue to increase in number, surpassing 40,000 a year by 2031 and 60,000 by 2056.

During the June 2009 year, there were 7,280 deaths of residents in the Auckland region. Although the Auckland region is home to approximately one-third of New Zealand's population, it only accounted for about one-quarter of New Zealand's deaths. This is due to the region's relatively young age structure. Only 10 percent of the Auckland region's population is aged 65 years and over, compared with 13 percent for the national population.

Births exceeded deaths by 34,000 in the June 2009 year. The Auckland region contributed 44 percent of New Zealand's natural increase in 2009, with 15,080 more births than deaths.

 Geoff Bascand 17 August 2009  
 Government Statistician

END

For media enquiries contact: Anne Howard
Christchurch 03 964 8700,
Email: demography@stats.govt.nz

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