Birth rates decline around NZ

Births and deaths decreased across the country last year, with Auckland recording the biggest drop-off in newborns.

Live births were down 4 per cent to 58,717 in 2013 compared to 2012, Statistics New Zealand figures released today show.

It was the fewest live births registered since 2005.

Auckland had the highest decrease in live births, with 21,827 live births in 2013, 1000 fewer than 2012.

Most regions across the country saw a decrease in births last year, with Tasman and Nelson the only regions to register small increases.

The trend towards older childbearing continued.

In 2013 women aged 35–39 years had more babies (71 births per 1000 women) than women aged 20–24 (67 per 1000) for the first time.

Teen pregnancy rates continued to drop to the lowest point in 16 years (22 births per 1000 women).

The age range of 25-34 remained the most popular time for a woman to have a baby.

Deaths also decreased slightly in 2013, down 2 per cent from 30,099 in 2012 to 29,568 in 2013.

The Auckland and Canterbury regions had the highest numbers of deaths in 2013 with 7566 and 4098, respectively.

New Zealand's natural increase (live births minus deaths) was 29,149, the lowest natural increase since 2003 (28,124).