20 Jan 2015

Teen birth rates at record low

1:59 pm on 20 January 2015

Teenage birth rates in New Zealand are at a record low.

Prospective parents look at an ultrasound of a pregnancy.

Photo: 123rf

Research from the Government's Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit shows almost six per cent of births overall were to teenage mothers in 2013.

Between 2006 and 2013, teenage birth rates fell 1.5 percent.

That works out as almost 1000 fewer teen mothers.

The study also found that three quarters of under-20s giving birth were 18- and 19-years-old and that abortion rates have halved since 2007.

The unit's chief executive, Clare Ward, said teen births could be linked with poor educational and social outcomes so the drop was a good sign.

But she said New Zealand's rate was still high compared to other OECD countries, and the US was the only country with more mothers under 20.

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