Birthrate drops in quake-hit east

CAROLINE KING
Last updated 13:44 20/11/2012
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NUMBERS DOWN: Birth rates have dropped in Christchurch's quake-hit eastern suburbs.

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Birthrates have dropped in Christchurch's quake-hit eastern suburbs, new figures show.

According to Statistics New Zealand the drop is the result of a decrease in the population after the earthquakes and fewer women having babies.

In the year ending September 2012, 714 babies were born in the Burwood-Pegasus ward, down 24 per cent since 2010 when there were 939 births.

The ward had the biggest drop of all wards in the city. 

Banks Peninsula followed closely with a 22 per cent drop in births.

Hagley-Ferrymead and Spreydon-Heathcote dropped 16 per cent, and Shirley-Papanui 13 per cent.

In Canterbury there was a total of 6510 births during that period, down 390, or 6 per cent, since the previous year.

Canterbury's birthrate was at its peak in 2008, when 7388 babies were born.

Population statistics manager Andrea Blackburn said Christchurch had the largest decrease in Canterbury, with 329 fewer births than in the September 2011 year.

"Within Christchurch, the largest decreases occurred in the eastern wards, which include suburbs that were significantly affected by the Canterbury earthquakes," he said.

However, despite the impact of the earthquakes in Christchurch, the largest decrease in births was in Auckland, which were down 409, or 2 per cent.

In New Zealand there was a total of 60,462 live births registered in the year ending September 2012.

This is down 1,799, or 3 per cent, since the September 2011 year.

This is the lowest number of births since 2006, when 59,115 births were registered. In contrast, there has been a slight increase in deaths nationally.

In the September 2012 year compared with 2011, deaths were up 249 to 29,956. 

The median age at death was 77 years for males and 83 years for females in 2012, compared with 72 and 79 years, respectively, two decades ago.

Live births minus deaths resulted in a natural increase of 30,506 people in the September 2012 year. 

This is the lowest natural increase since 2005, when it was 29,889.

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- The Press

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