Growing Up in New Zealand

This month we saw some early results from a study of small children. The full report is at Growing Up in NZ

About 7,000 children, born between April 2009 and March 2010, are in the study. They live in Waikato, or a particular area in Auckland. This is a longitudinal study. It will follow these children from before they were born until they are adults. In the first two years there are three face-to-face interviews with parents and four phone interviews.

Here are some of their findings.

The average age of parents is just over 30 but 5% are teenagers, usually 18 or 19. The average age of a first time mother is 28. Most families have 2 or 3 children.

This study shows that our society is becoming more diverse. 62% of the mothers are European, 18% are Maori, 17% Pacific Islanders and 16% are Asian. 20% of mothers had more than one ethnicity. One in 3 parents is new to New Zealand and one in 3 families have a parent who is multi-lingual. One in 20 can speak Te reo Maori. 20% use different languages at home. Most want their children to identify with all their ethnicities.

60% of parents are married but 90% overall are living in a stable relationship like a marriage.

This study also focuses on pregnancy. One in 10 smoked during pregnancy and a considerable number said they drank alcohol at that time.


There are a lot of statistics here. Listen for these numbers:
Average age of parents, average age of first time mothers, percentage of mothers who were teenagers, percentage of different ethnicities among parents, percentage who speak Te reo Mori, percentage who speak different languages at home, percentage of parents who are married and all those who are in a stable relationship, ratio of those who smoked during pregnancy.

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