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?
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