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Teen birth rate continues to decline

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

National News

Statistics New Zealand has released birth and death rates for 2016 and highlighted the continuing decline in teenage births.  

The teen birth rate has dropped each year since 2008, Statistics New Zealand said today.

In 2016, the rate was 16 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19 years – half the 2008 rate of 33.

This New Zealand trend aligns with global trends. For example, the United States teen birth rate has been dropping almost consistently since 1991 and in 2015 it is at historic lows (22.3 per 1,000 females).

The Australian teenage birth rate is also dropping, but less dramatically than in New Zealand. It fell from 18 births per 1,000 women in 2008 to 12 per 1000 in 2015.

There has been a significant change in teenage birth rates over the past four decades.

In 1976, the age specific fertility rate for 15-19 year olds in New Zealand was 50 births per 1,000 women, as compared to the 2016 rate of 16 births per 1,000 women.

The overall fertility rate in New Zealand has also dropped this year to the lowest recorded rate of 1.87 births per woman.

Read the Statistics New Zealand report.

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