1 Jan 2018

NZ babies born today more likely to see 22nd century - UNICEF

2:49 pm on 1 January 2018

The 170 New Zealand babies expected to be born this New Year's Day will have an average life expectancy bringing them into the 22nd century, according to new data.

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Photo: 123RF

The UNICEF data says the babies born today will have one of the longest life expectancy rates in the world.

By the time the country's New Year's babies reach their average life expectancy in 2100, they would have seen 21 Rugby World Cups and celebrated the 260th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Only 21 countries have an average life expectancy of 2100 or higher, with Japan and Switzerland topping the list, reaching the year 2102.

Babies in Australia will on average live one year longer than those living here.

Sierra Leone had the lowest average life expectancy age of just 52 years.

UNICEF executive director Vivian Maidaborn said babies in New Zealand had high levels of care, education and medical assistance, which was reflected in their long life-spans.

"Our hope is that by the time these babies reach adulthood, the success we see here in New Zealand is shared with other countries around the world," she said.

New Zealand's New Year's babies make up just 0.044 percent of those to be born globally.

India is expected to have the most, with 69,000 babies expected to be born this New Year's Day.

Kiribati's Christmas Island will most likely welcome the first baby, with the United States expected to be the last.

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