Teen pregnancy rate halves in 20 years

Changing age of motherhood: Teen pregnancy rate halves in 20 years, as more women give birth in their 40s
Stuff co.nz 9 August 2021
Family First Comment: The number of new mums in their 40s now exceed those having babies in their teens. The median age of women giving birth rose from 25.7 years old in 1980 to 30.8 in 2020, data from Statistics New Zealand showed. Overall, women are having fewer children. In 1937, each woman had an average of 2.7 children, by 1961 the birth rate had risen to a high of 4.31 per women, before falling to 1.71 in 2018.

The demographics of New Zealand mothers are changing, as the teenage pregnancy rate has halved in 20 years, while the proportion of women in their 40s giving birth has jumped by 30 per cent.

The two trends have led to the number of new mums in their 40s now exceeding those having babies in their teens.

An increase in access to more effective contraceptives, changing gender norms, the rising cost of living and shifts in values are all believed to have contributed to the phenomenon.

The median age of women giving birth rose from 25.7 years old in 1980 to 30.8 in 2020, data from Statistics New Zealand showed. For Māori and Pacific women, the average is now 27.3 and 27.7 years old respectively and for Pākehā and Asian women it is 31 and 32.1 years old.

During the same period, the proportion of teenagers giving birth fell from 38.2 per 1000 women to 9.8 per 1000. The sharpest decrease had been seen since 2010, when the figure was 29.0 per 1000.

Overall, women are having fewer children. In 1937, each woman had an average of 2.7 children, by 1961 the birth rate had risen to a high of 4.31 per women, before falling to 1.71 in 2018.
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/125975253/changing-age-of-motherhood-teen-pregnancy-rate-halves-in-20-years-as-more-women-give-birth-in-their-40s?cid=app-iPhone

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