18 Nov 2008

Births on rise

5:54 pm on 18 November 2008

The number of births in New Zealand in the last year was the highest since 1962.

Statistics New Zealand also says the birth rate is also much higher than normal.

In the year to September, there were 64,540 births.

Statistics New Zealand says that women now have children on average at 30, about five years older than women in the mid-1960s.

The birth rate for the past year - 2.2 births per woman - was the highest for 18 years.

Boys continue to outnumber girls: about 51% compared to 49% for girls.

Auckland, Canterbury and the top of the South Island had the highest birth rates.

Ian Pool, professor of demography at the University of Waikato, says the sharpest increase was in the Auckland region, which accounted for 36% of births in the past year.

Professor Pool says Canterbury, the West Coast, Marlborough, Nelson and Tasman also showed significant increases.