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New Zealanders living longer as population growth slows

(Xinhua)

11:16, August 16, 2011

WELLINGTON, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- New Zealanders are continuing to live longer, according to the government statistics agency.

In the year since the last figures, the average woman's lifespan had increased to 82.7 years and the average man's to 78.8 years, Statistics New Zealand announced Tuesday.

The figures are taken from deaths registered over three years from 2008 to 2010 and compare with the previous statistics taken from 2007 to 2009.

"New Zealand's life expectancy at birth has increased by 0.3 years for females and 0.4 years for males since 2007-09," population statistics manager Andrea Blackburn said.

However, the country's birth rate was slightly down to 2.1 births per woman in the year to June from 2.2 births the previous year, resulting in 62,660 live births down by 1,460 the previous year. Boys outnumbered girls in births by 32,090 to 30,570.

In the same period, 29,320 deaths were registered, up 480, or 2 percent, year on year, with 310 infants under 1 year dying -- an infant mortality rate of 4.9 per 1,000.

On Friday, Statistics New Zealand announced the country's estimated population rose by just 0.9 percent in the year to the end of June the lowest rate of growth for a June year in a decade.

The population at the end of June was estimated at 4,405,300, up by 37,500 a year earlier, according to Statistics New Zealand.

The growth rate was the lowest for a June year since the 0.6- percent rate reported in June 2001.

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