18 Aug 2008

Birth rate rises to 17-year high

3:39 pm on 18 August 2008

New Zealand has recorded its highest birth rate since 1991.

For the year to June, the birth rate was 2.2 births per woman, up from 2.1 a year earlier.

The figure is about half of the peak rate in 1961 of 4.3 births per woman.

In the year to June, there were 64,140 births, and boys outnumbered girls by more than 1500.

The median age of first-time mothers was 28, while women between 30 and 34 had the highest fertility rate.

Last year births exceeded deaths by 35,460.