Families Commission - Demographic profile of New Zealand Families

» 08/08/2012, Posted by Site Admin

The Families Commission has produced "New Zealand families today: a brief demographic profile" a summary of key facts about New Zealand families which reveals significant changes in our social fabric.

Key findings:
- Over the past 20 years couple-only and one person households have become more common.
- The rate of growth in the proportion of households headed by a sole parent may be levelling off.
- An estimated third of children will have lived in a sole parent family for a period of time by age 17.
- In 2006 57% of all adults aged 16 and over were living with a partner. The majority of these were married (76%), however a growing proportion of New Zealanders now live together without formally legalising their relationship.
- Since the early 1970s there has been an almost uninterrupted decline in the general marriage rate.
- Evidence that some people are delaying marriage is seen in the increasing median age of those who marry. The median age of women who married for the first time has risen from 20.8 years in 1971 to 28.2 years in 2010. The median age for men marrying for the first time has increased by about 7 years.
- Divorce rates have increased until recently (there has been a drop-off since the mid 2000s). The proportion of people who marry for a second time has increased.
- The median age for women giving birth is now 30 years, compared with 26 years in the early 1960s and just under 25 years in the early 1970s. Fewer New Zealand women in their teens are having a child compared with the 1960s.
- The proportion of ex-nuptial births is now nearly 50%.
- Between 1991 and 2012 the proportion of women holding a post-school qualification increased from 32% to 50%. The gender gap has been steadily closing - from 12 percentage points in 1991 to 3 percentage points in 2012.
- The average weekly hours spent by children in licensed ECE settings has increased from 13.3 hours in 2000 to 20.4 hours in 2011.

"New Zealand Families Today" can be found under the publications tab on the Working4Youth website

Families Commission website: