Thursday, May 17, 2012

Teenage birthrate hits new low

The March quarter teenage birthrate has dropped to 25.3 per 1,000 15-19 year-olds.

This is the lowest rate since  1972 when the number was 69 per 1,000.

This is good news because most babies born to teenage parents end up on welfare.

Currently there are 3,051 18-19 year olds on the DPB (some might not be parents but caregivers to someone sick).

In March 2009 when the teenage birth rate was 32.2, there were 3,570 on DPB, so the drop in the birthrate is reflected in numbers dependent.

It may be that the messages about the DPB no longer being a long-term option are getting through. But the number of babies being born is dropping across the spectrum from 64,159 (year ended March 2009) to 60,860 March 2012.

The depressed economy? More potential dads leaving the country? (The abortion rate is also trending down so fewer women are getting pregnant in the first place.) Motherhood less fashionable? The moral climate?

I think that people are beginning to appreciate that the road ahead might not be so easy and are starting to adjust their behaviour accordingly. Whatever their circumstances are.

What do you think is changing?


Anonymous said...

What do you think is changing?

That, somehow, unlike Blll English, the proles and blugers in NZ know the time is nearly up when their lifestyle can be financed by borrowing a billion dollars a week and flushing it down the crapper.

We had a budget surplus and no nett debt when National took over and the first financial crisis hit.

The Euro is about to explode: there won't be any liquidity, no-one will want to lend to English's little socialist south-sea paradise that's been borrowing like crazy for the last four years.

The party's about to end and it's not going to pretty.

The good news - all of your dreams about the end of all welfare in NZ are about to come true

Andrei said...

What I think is happening is we are watching our civilization commit suicide.

FF said...

The role of grandmothers is underestimated in this, especially where teens are having children.

The traditional role and advantage of grandmothers was that they themselves were still young enough and had more resources to take some if not most of the burden of raising grandchildren.

Booming welfare and resulting rise in govt employment for women of a certain age to run it all, especially Maori women....has made them less available and perhaps unwilling to take a more hands on role.

Brendan said...

I suspect it's a blip that's unrelated to the overall trend.

I'd be happy to be proved wrong, but dysfunction is harder to displace with responsible behavior than might be imagined.

Either way, if it is a result of the present Governments soft approach to welfare reform, then it is to be welcomed.