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Northland region has New Zealand's highest birth rate
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  18 February 2015

Births and Deaths: Year ended December 2014  –  Media Release

Regional birth rates for 2013 show that Northland had the highest rate in the country, Statistics New Zealand said today.

"On average, women in Northland had 2.55 births, well above the national average of  2.02 births," population statistics manager Vina Cullum said. "Gisborne previously had the highest birth rate but has now slipped to third place with 2.40 births per woman, just below Hawke's Bay (2.46)."

Otago's birth rate (1.67 births per woman) was the lowest in the country, followed by Wellington (1.78) and Canterbury (1.90).

Regional variations in fertility tend to reflect the characteristics of the population in the area. For example, Otago's consistently low birth rate reflects the high number of young women studying in Dunedin. These young women tend to delay childbirth until they have completed their studies, by which time many will have moved elsewhere.

Birth rates for regions are available for the census years 1996, 2001, 2006, and 2013. They are calculated using live births over a three-year period centred on the census year.

Information on births and deaths for 2014 is available from Births and Deaths: Year ended December 2014. This information release shows that 57,242 live births and 31,063 deaths were registered in New Zealand in 2014.

Ends

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

Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 18 February 2015

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