Fewer births in SA – survey

Illustration: A Chinese baby boy who had been declared dead is saved from being cremated alive when he started crying at a funeral parlour, media reports

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 said on Thursday.

“Women are choosing to delay childbirth and ultimately have fewer children, so that the number of babies born per 1000 people in a given year is shrinking,” SAIRR researcher Thuthukani Ndebele said in a statement.

“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 SAIRR sourced the data from Statistics SA. The birth rate (births per 1000 people) declined by about 16 percent between 2002 and 2013, Ndebele said.

Births recorded in 1991 accounted for almost three percent of the country’s population.

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

– Sapa

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