Teen pregnancy falls as birth rates rise

By Alicia Burrow

Women aged between 30-34 are having more babies than any other age group. Photo / iStock
Women aged between 30-34 are having more babies than any other age group. Photo / iStock

Women in their early 30s have contributed to our highest birth rate in four years and teen pregnancies are at their lowest in eight years.

Statistics New Zealand figures show there were 61,038 births last year, up seven per cent from the year before.

READ MORE: Love is in the air: More babies in 2015.

Statistical Analyst Anne Howard says women aged between 30 to 34 have been having more babies than any other age group since 2002.

She says it's very different from the 1960s when women had their children at a much younger age.

She adds it's difficult to tell why women choose a certain age, and how many children to have - what they do know is that it has fluctuated for the last 30 years.

The figures also confirmed teen birth rates are continuing to go the opposite way - pregnancy had almost halved from around six percent of young women aged 15 to 19 getting pregnant in 2008 to just 3.1 percent in 2014.

There were just 2,865 births to under 20 year-olds in 2015 and a large majority of those were to 18 and 19 year olds.

That's a stark contrast to when records began in the 1960s - in 1972, births for under 20 year-olds peaked at 9,150 and for the most part it's been a steady decline since.

Interestingly Mrs Howard says abortion rates are also on the decline, and decreasing figures of teen pregnancies seem to be a part of a global trend across Europe and Australia.

- NZ Herald

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