Data galore

November 26th, 2010 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

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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47 Responses to “Data galore”

  1. MT_Tinman (3,202 comments) says:

    “45% of families have a first child have household income of over $100,000 per annum”

    Not for long they don’t!

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  2. Herman Poole (297 comments) says:

    have a degree vs 22% of unplanned pregnancy mothers

    This shows the falling standards of todays degrees.

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  3. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    Why only children in Auckland and Waikato? Presumably by the time they’re 21 they’ll be living all over the country, in Australia, and elsewhere and so proximity to Auckland University isn’t a consideration except in the first year or two.

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  4. kowtow (8,512 comments) says:

    A brave new world…….

    only 60 % of parents are in a legally binding relationship……

    mothers and partners,partners,partners……..no longer husband and wife…….well comrade we’ve succeded in underming the family at least that’s one victory for the left.

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  5. tvb (4,430 comments) says:

    I am not surprised many people who have an entitlement to family care have not bothered to apply for it. For a start you have to go to IRD to get it, which is an unfamiliar place for people wanting welfare assistance. I have no doubt the Government cynically makes a provision for the low take up for this benefit. The smoking stats for smoking are shocking. Worse than I expected. Tariana please come down as hard as you like on this issue.

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  6. Manolo (13,828 comments) says:

    “That’s why cigarettes need to be banned..”

    A new Stalin has spoken!

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  7. andrei (2,664 comments) says:

    The stats on smoking during pregnancy are a shocker

    Which does more harm to a baby a smoking mother or the abortionists suction device?

    Liberal priorities are truly strange

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  8. kyotolaw (52 comments) says:

    That stat on previous pregnancies ending before week 24. Does that include miscarriages? And/or abortions?

    I only ask because we would have said yes to that question. And not for the reason andrei seems to be upset about.

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  9. trout (939 comments) says:

    This looks like a replication of the longitudinal study being undertaken at Otago University (commenced in the 1970’s). In the case of Otago they fly the subjects into Dunedin once a year to subject them to interviews and tests. The difference between both studies will be interesting; in the South the subjects are predominantly pakeha; in the north the ethnic mix is significantly different. It would be a mistake to view the results of the Northern study as representative of the rest of New Zealand.

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  10. dave (988 comments) says:

    I’m a little surprised by the amount that dont know about WFF. That’s because when you are on a benefit you get the choice of whether to have WFF ( i.e. the family tax credit) paid for by the IRD, or through the benefit system. That is, your benefit increases when you have kids up to a point..

    If beneficiaries don’t know about WFF, it is because WINZ case managers are not doing their job in giving them the option of how they wish to have WFF paid. If those who are not on a benefit dont know about WFF, they probably don’t know about Kiwisaver either.,

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  11. youami (44 comments) says:

    While I’m sure all these stats are lovely to have, for those of us with Big Brother tendencies, why am I required to pay for them through my taxes? This study must have a budget well into the millions. From the website:

    “By providing facts for child and family policy, Growing Up in New Zealand will improve the lives of all New Zealand children and their families.”

    Bullsh1t! It will just p1ss away more money that we can’t afford.

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  12. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    Facts are dangerous youami, must have less facts….

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  13. vendetta (60 comments) says:

    Wondered how long it was going to take for the botherers to turn up.

    Rather than getting into an endless slinging match, let me just say andrei: I’m going to take a wild guess and say you’re a bloke. And therefore will never have to face the terrifying and unenviable choice between continuing pregnancy to produce an unwanted or unable to be cared for child as the result of contraceptive failure … or termination.

    I’m also of the school of thought that a life of pain and poverty for an unwanted child born to a mother incapable of caring for it is positive for neither mother, child or society. It’s hardly pleasant.

    Anyway, we’re unlikely to ever agree, just my 2c

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  14. bka (135 comments) says:

    Over 87% of mothers and more than 91% of fathers think they are at least better than average parents. Most think they fit into the highest category.

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  15. ben (2,380 comments) says:

    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.

    I had the very same thought. Can the socialist experiment trying to convince people smoking ain’t good now, finally, be declared dead and can the long suffering taxpayer finally be given a break?

    It is unbelievable that so little could be achieved with so much money. I believe the anti smoking lobby receives over $50 million every year now. And still a third of Maori mums are smoking.

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  16. James Stephenson (2,186 comments) says:

    Which does more harm to a baby a smoking mother or the abortionists suction device?

    Harm to the baby? Then it’s the smoking. Harm to the potential existence of an actual baby then the abortionist.

    Anyhoo, it’s interesting stuff for me, our youngest was only just outside the window for births they were looking for.

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  17. youami (44 comments) says:

    “Facts are dangerous youami, must have less facts….”

    No, what’s dangerous is thinking that the state should have a role in trying to “improve the lives of all New Zealand children”, but I guess the horse has long since bolted in that regard.

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  18. vendetta (60 comments) says:

    youami – my curiosity is sufficiently piqued … I’m not being sarcastic here, but could you explain why you believe the state trying to improve the lives of our next generation is a bad thing?

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  19. James Stephenson (2,186 comments) says:

    youami – the state definitely has a role in improving the lives of all New Zealand children. From where I stand, the first and best step it should take is to stop getting in the way of their parents…

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  20. kowtow (8,512 comments) says:

    Vendetta

    I was wondering how long it would take for the victimers to show up.

    Your contribution positively ouzes the socialista/feminista mantra of victimhood imposed by an uncaring male dominated oppresive bleak society.

    “pain and poverty…..’this ain’t the Congo or Somalia.Shit the taxpayer is carrying these people and paying for their choices not to be responsible adults.

    and a mother “incapable of caring for a child” shouldn’t be rooting.Simple.

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  21. Manolo (13,828 comments) says:

    “..why you believe the state trying to improve the lives of our next generation is a bad thing?”

    Because when the state patronises and treats its citizens as children incapable of making decisions, the country ends up with a generation of imbeciles who need to be spoon-fed and told about everything.

    Yes, making mistakes and paying for the consequences is real life. Darwin was right, after all.

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  22. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    James how does the state ‘get in the way’ of parents?

    I’m a parent of two great little children so I’m interested.

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  23. nathan (6 comments) says:

    the study costs about $5million a year, paid by you and I mostly through MSD

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  24. youami (44 comments) says:

    Because that is not their role and we can’t afford all the money wasted trying to achieve some socialist’s wet-dream. If I want to improve the life of my children, then I’ll do it off my own back. It would be nice if everyone else would do the same.

    Of course, there will always be need for charity for families in genuine need. It would be nice not to be taxed left, right and centre on everything so that I could afford to give more to charity.

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  25. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    @youami and how does the government know where to invest in new schools, training, hospitals etc if they don’t have any information about the next generation of New Zealanders? What about measuring the success or otherwise of initiatives to reduce smoking and alcohol?

    You view of this is incredibly short sighted.

    I’m happy for my taxes to go toward paying for this, I rather this than subsidizing MP’s overseas holidays.

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  26. youami (44 comments) says:

    What is the government doing paying for schools, hospitals and initiatives to reduce smoking/alcohol?!?? Surely all of these services could be provided by the private sector?

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  27. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    @youami, got one reasonable argument that doesn’t involve living in a libertarian fantasy?

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  28. cha (4,036 comments) says:

    …and one had Orcs in it.

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  29. lastmanstanding (1,297 comments) says:

    Thanks for enlightening me on where the taxes I will pay for the rest of my life will go

    To prop up the products of the waste of oxygen that continue to breed like feral cats

    Time to introduce the Test to Determine Fitness to Produce

    Ohh I can just see the liberals sharpening their claws. Idiots!!!!!!

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  30. Repton (769 comments) says:

    Time to introduce the Test to Determine Fitness to Produce

    How would that work?

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  31. OTGO (554 comments) says:

    Married or long time opposite sex partner = tick
    Minimum NCEA level 2 = tick
    Over 25 = tick
    Done their OE = tick
    Stable Job = tick
    Dope smoker = cross
    Alcoholic = cross
    On the benefit = cross

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  32. annie (539 comments) says:

    It will be very interesting. The Dunedin longitudinal study has been extremely valuable, but of course the Dunedin population isn’t even really representative of the rest of the SI, much less the NI.

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  33. vendetta (60 comments) says:

    kowtow,

    cheers – your description of me as a rabid man-hating lesbian gave me a bit of a chuckle. Anyway…

    People have debated this rabidly since time immemorial, and I’m not silly enough to think that progress will be made convincing anybody to change their opinion in a discussion forum on a lazy friday.

    However, let me just say that I wish I lived on your black and white planet, where people never make unfortunate mistakes, contraception never fails, and anybody who is for whatever reason not able to provide adequate parenting should therefore forfeit ever having a relationship for the duration of their lifetime. Just in case a mistake happens. Termination is not a pleasant option, but it is sometimes the best of a bunch of bad options. If it bothers you, don’t worry … nobody’s ever going to force you to have one!

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  34. Repton (769 comments) says:

    @OTGO — how would you enforce it?

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  35. OTGO (554 comments) says:

    Well JK would appoint me as commissionaire (or some similar lofty title reflecting my 250k salary) and I would have a whole department of rabid right wingers like me to make these decisions via a probing interview process.

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  36. Repton (769 comments) says:

    Perhaps you’re just being sarcastic (it’s hard to tell around here), but if you aren’t: the problem is not testing or assessment, the problem is how you stop people having sex and getting pregnant…

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  37. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    One really sad thing about mothers smoking during pregnancy is that the babies are born really cold and need extra heating after they are born……They are cold thru out the pregnancy and are also smaller at birth ..Who would want to do this to their own child?

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  38. Bullitt (140 comments) says:

    @ OTGO why do you consider someone who’se done an OE would be a better parent. Although I’ve briefly left NZ in the past I havn’t got close to something resembling an OE and I fail to see why this would make me a lesser person or potential parent?

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  39. Dirty Rat (504 comments) says:

    between 2008 and 2010 ?

    Interesting

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  40. iiq374 (262 comments) says:

    One of the main things to be careful of with this survey is around interpretation of questions – the people sent out to ask the questions have no connection to the writers. This means if you want definition of a term or question they can’t help (at all!)

    So while a lot of questions like the smoking etc are fine – any of the results regarding neighborhood etc are probably as much influenced by the participants interpretation than the actual answers.

    One in three of the Growing Up children have at least one parent born overseas – I’d be interested to know how this compares to the underlying population stats? IE does this show that families with someone born overseas are more civic minded and likely to take part in the study; more likely to breed; or just that 1/3 of “partnerships” actually have an international member?

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  41. iiq374 (262 comments) says:

    P.S. One of the 7000 :D

    [DPF: Congrats]

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  42. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Damn, all those good native born kiwis having it away with foreigners, disgraceful, must mention it to the wife.
    Hmm, that could be a touch dangerous :-)

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  43. Johnboy (16,651 comments) says:

    “One really sad thing about mothers smoking during pregnancy is that the babies are born really cold and need extra heating after they are born……They are cold thru out the pregnancy and are also smaller at birth ..Who would want to do this to their own child?”

    Smoking Inuit mothers are among the worst offenders I believe Joana.

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  44. Johnboy (16,651 comments) says:

    I’d keep it bit quiet if I were you too Grumpy.

    Your missus might take a liking to a bloody Turk. I hear they are all hung like a horse. :)

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