Data galore

MSD commissioned a longitudinal survey of 7,000 children born from 2008 to 2010 in the Aucland and Waikato areas. will continue surveying them until they reach 21 years old. This is going to give us a huge amount of incredibly useful data, and yesterday the first tranche was released.

The study has a dedicated website at Growing Up.

The large size of 7,000 means it can be taken to reflect the whole of NZ. Already the antenatal data is fascinating:

  • 40 percent of children were unplanned
  • More than one in 10 mothers continued to smoke through their pregnancies, including 34% of Maori mothers. Onlu 0.4% of Asian mothers smoke during pregnancy.
  • Many mothers consumed alcohol during pregnancy
  • Forty nine percent of mothers identify as NZ European, 18 percent as Māori, 15 percent as Pacific and 15 percent as Asian
  • One in three of the Growing Up children have at least one parent born overseas
  • One in five children will grow up in homes where English is not the main language (although 97 percent of mothers and partners are able to converse in everyday English)
  • Twenty-eight percent of mothers live either on their own or with extended family (sometimes including their partner)
  • Five percent of mothers are teenagers
  • Ten percent of mothers needed fertility assistance to get pregnant
  • Nearly half (45 percent) of mothers in high deprivation areas were unaware of Working for Families
  • the average age of parents having children in (first or subsequent) is now greater than 30 years;
  • Only 60% of parents are in a legally binding relationship
  • 45% of families have a first child have household income of over $100,000 per annum
  • Only 3% of mothers whose pregnancy was planned had no qualifications while 14% of mothers whose pregnancy was unplanned had no qualifications.
  • 49% of planned pregnancy mothers have a degree vs 22% of unplanned pregnancy mothers
  • 70% of mothers had a previous pregnancy, and of that 70%, 17% had the previous pregnancy end before 24 weeks

I find it interesting that those who most need Working for Families were least aware of it. Maybe there should have been less TV ads showing kids enjoying ipods, and more targeted direct mail.

The stats on smoking during pregnancy are a shocker – especially when you consider the huge amount of money given to literally dozens of Maori groups to try and reduce smoking rates amongst Maori.

Lots and lots of data to reflect on.

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