Thursday, February 19, 2015

Where the babies are born

None of the following is news to me but it's important and doesn't often make mainstream media pages:

Dr Pool said fertility rates were now lowest where women were better educated, had higher incomes and were more likely to be in paid work.
"In both Auckland and Wellington you have a central city/outer city divide," he said. "In Auckland it's Auckland Central and the North Shore versus higher rates in the west and much higher rates in South Auckland. In Wellington, it's Wellington City, the Hutt and Porirua in that order."
These patterns are partly ethnic. Fertility rates are highest for Pacific women (2.73 babies per woman) and Maori women (2.49), while European women equal the national average (1.92) and Asian women have far fewer babies (1.69).
Think about the consequences of that. Add in that the population is growing top heavy with elderly, that the babies born to the best educated parents are also those most likely to leave NZ and build a career elsewhere. Fortunately  many people also want to come and study/live here and immigration presents something of a solution if our politicians allow it to.

But it is crucial that the educational achievement and social stability of people in lower socio-economic areas improves. Less welfare, less taxation > more investment and more jobs. Not what the Greens and Labour call for - more welfare, more taxation > less investment and fewer jobs.

If the poorest people are going to have the most babies it is essential that their prospects, and their children's, are brighter.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have wondered if this differential in birth rates is why "poverty" has been more in the headlines. For the last few decades we have been restricting births by those who are likely to stay out of poverty, and encouraging births by those who are likely to be in it.