Registered births decline in SA

Registered births decline in SA
Registered births decline in SA

South Africa is experiencing a continuous decline in the total number of registered births, says Statistician General Pali Lehohla.

Lehohla on Thursday released the Recorded Live Births 2016 Report in Pretoria.

He said approximately 969 415 live births were registered at the Department of Home Affairs in 2016, which is a 10.6% decline from the 1 084 511 births that were registered in 2015.

According to the report, the 2015 number was a drop from the 1 142 275 live births that were recorded in 2014.

Of the 969 415 live births registered in 2016, Lehohla said about 876 435 (90.4%) were current birth registrations and about 92 980 (9.6%) were late registrations.

“Overall, there were slightly more males (491 109) than females (478 306) registered in 2016. For births which occurred in 2016, the sex ratio at birth was 102 males per 100 females,” said Lehola.

The report shows that birth occurrences were high in January, followed by March and September respectively, and this has been the case from 2012 to 2016.

The completeness of 2016 births registered was estimated at 89.2%.

He said the current registration of births were high among women aged between 20 and 24, and those aged between 25 and 29 at 94.4% and 92.9% respectively.

Women between 25 and 29 years experienced higher birth occurrence (25.9%) than any other age groups, followed by age 20 to 24 years (25.8%), and then age 30 to 34 (21.1%) respectively.

Birth registrations per province

Of the 969 415 birth registrations in 2016, Lehohla said Gauteng province had the highest number (235 218) of total birth registrations, followed by KwaZulu-Natal, with about 198 628 and Limpopo with about 122 890.

“Northern Cape had the lowest number, accounting for 23 587 of all birth registrations. This is, however, reflective of the population distribution by province, hence the most populated provinces were the ones with the highest number of birth registrations,” Lehohla said.

The Births and Deaths Amendment Act states that registration of birth must be done within 30 days after birth. However, 84% of births were compliant.

Provincially, Free State and Northern Cape had the highest proportion of births registered within 30 days after birth at 93% and 91% respectively. The worst performing was KwaZulu-Natal, with only 72% births registered within 30 days.

In general, the pattern of birth by month has been the same in recent years, with the highest proportion of births occurring during the month of March. Lehohla said this suggests that babies were likely to be conceived during June or July.

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