Here’s the latest Family First media release…
Family First NZ says that National Party leader Christopher Luxon is absolutely correct to sound a warning about the nation’s declining birthrate.
According to the latest data from Stats NZ, the total fertility rate is 1.65 births per woman, dropping slightly from 1.69. New Zealand’s fertility rate continues to be at an all-time low, well below the population replacement level of 2.1 required.
The fertility rate should be sounding alarm bells for politicians and policymakers in New Zealand. Lindsay Mitchell, author of Family First’s 2019 report “Families: Ever Fewer or No Children, How Worried Should We Be?“ says “Without population replacement or growth, economies decline. A nation’s strength lies in its young: their energy, innovation, risk-taking and entrepreneurship.”
Researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, published in the Lancet in 2020, predict that the worldwide fertility rate will fall below 1.7 by 2100. 183 out of 195 countries are predicted to have a fertility rate below the replacement level.
With a declining fertility rate comes a reliance on migration to provide for an aging population – but all countries around the world will be competing for that migration, because most countries are facing the same dilemma. We need a younger population to provide a workforce for economic growth.
An aging population will also place a burden on the economy through increasing health care, aged care, and other fiscal costs such as the government pension.
Whether the solution is financial incentives, enhanced maternity and paternity leave, free childcare, employment rights, or simply migration through open borders, New Zealand needs to be having this discussion.