Story: Families: a history

Ex-nuptial births, 1964–2008

Ex-nuptial births, 1964–2008

Births outside marriage have risen steadily since the mid-1960s. While just under 10% of births were to unmarried women in 1964, nearly a quarter of all births were in 1984 and nearly 50% of all live births in 2008. However, sole parent families were still a small minority of all households with dependent children in the early 2000s – only 10% in 2001. Many unmarried mothers were raising their children with long-term partners. Sometimes they chose to marry after the birth of their first or subsequent children.

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How to cite this page:

Ian Pool and Rosemary Du Plessis, 'Families: a history - Baby bust families: mid-1970s to 1990s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 January 2018)

Story by Ian Pool and Rosemary Du Plessis, published 5 May 2011, updated 1 Jul 2017