How many New Zealand babies are born into deprivation?

New Zealand is obligated under the UN Sustainable Development Goals to cut poverty in half by 2030.
CHARLOTTE CURD/STUFF
New Zealand is obligated under the UN Sustainable Development Goals to cut poverty in half by 2030.

The majority of births happen in the most deprived parts of the country.

According to the most recent report on maternity by the Ministry of Health, over 30,000 children were born in deprivation in 2015.

The Child Poverty Monitor said last year there were about 290,000 children in households on low incomes, and up to 135,000 children lacking basic items.

From 2006 to 2015, birth rates were were consistently higher for women in more deprived neighbourhoods than for women in less deprived neighbourhoods. 

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There are 108 zones classified as "most deprived" in the South Island, but 10 times as many - 1083 - in the North Island, according to a tool developed last year using government data. Wider Auckland alone has 432 of those. Kawerau has the country's worst employment deprivation, but the worst income deprivation is in Pukekohe.

Women giving birth in their 20s were more likely to live in more deprived neighbourhoods.

More than half of the women who gave birth in 2015 were between the ages of 25 and 34 years. 

The average age for Pākeha and Asian women who gave birth was early 30s, and for Māori and Pasifika women it was mid to late 20s.

New Zealand is obligated under the UN Sustainable Development Goals to cut poverty in half by 2030.

Labour has set a target of halving child poverty in 10 years, with Ardern's Child Poverty Reduction Bill defining poverty at 50 per cent of the median income.

It also introduced the Working for Families package, which planned to lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021, although Treasury has since had to rework the figures after discovering a mistake in its calculations. 

The country's overall birth rate has been on a bumpy decline since the 1960s, and Auckland has been contributing to this trend.

Auckland and Wellington have the lowest number of births in the country. 

Tairawhiti, on the East Cape including Gisborne, had the highest birth rate of 84.5 births per 1000 women in 2015.

Learn more about the information shown above, and explore more charts, at Figure.NZ's site.

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