Report on Maternity, 2014

Published online: 
07 December 2015
Publication cover


This report describes

  • the demographic profile of women giving birth (eg, age, ethnicity, deprivation) and selected antenatal factors (eg, BMI, smoking)
  • events relating to labour and birth (eg, type of birth, interventions, place of birth)
  • the demographic profile of live-born babies, their birthweight and gestation and care provided after birth.

You can download the report and its accompanying data tables from the Downloads section of this page.

Key findings about births in 2014

  • 59,193 women gave birth and 59,494 babies were live-born.
  • The birth rate in 2014 was 65.0 per 1000 females of reproductive age; the lowest since 2005.
  • Birth rates for young women have decreased over the last decade while birth rates for older women have increased.
  • Women giving birth were predominantly European, aged 25–34 years, residing in more deprived neighbourhoods, and had had at least one previous birth.
  • Most women received primary maternity care from a midwife Lead Maternity Carer.
  • Two of every three women registered with a Lead Maternity Carer did so within their first trimester of pregnancy; an increase from 2008 where half registered within the first trimester.
  • Most women gave birth at a secondary or tertiary maternity facility.
  • Home births were more common among women in their 40s, Māori women, and European women.
  • Elective caesarean section rates have increased.
  • One in every three women giving birth had a spontaneous vaginal birth without having an induced or augmented labour, an epidural or an episiotomy.
  • More live-born babies were male than female.
  • There was little change in average birthweight.
  • Median gestation at birth was 39 weeks.
  • Most babies were exclusively or fully breastfed.

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    07 December 2015
  • ISBN:
  • HP number:
  • Citation:
    Ministry of Health. 2015. Report on Maternity, 2014. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
  • Copyright status:

    Owned by the Ministry of Health and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.

Back to top