Births in SA ‘at a record low’

2014-02-13 10:28

Childbirths as a proportion of the total South African population are at a record low for the first time in more than two decades, the SA Institute of Race Relations has said.

“Women are choosing to delay childbirth and ultimately have fewer children, so that the number of babies born per 1 000 people in a given year is shrinking,” institute researcher Thuthukani Ndebele said today.

“A shrinking proportion of births, coupled with better life expectancy, will result in the proportion of young people dropping while that of older persons will grow.”

The institute sourced the data from Stats SA. The birth rate (births per 1 000 people) declined by about 16% between 2002 and last year, Ndebele said.

Births recorded in 1991 accounted for almost 3% of the country’s population.

“By 2010, that proportion had fallen to 2% and subsequently dropped to 1.8% in 2011,” Ndebele said.

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