The old adage when it comes to children is one for mum, one for dad and one for the country, but the fertility rate among New Zealand women had fallen to the lowest level on record 1.63 - not even one for dad.
Statistics NZ figures show the fertility rate hovered around 2 for much of this century, even getting above the 2.1 replacement level in several years. But in the past five years, figures have trended downwards.
Lindsay Mitchell spoke to Heather du Plessis-Allan last night about a report on declining birth rates she wrote for Family First and she believes women want to have children; they just don't realise there's a time limit on their fertility.
We need to replace our ageing population. We need people to do the jobs the elderly can't and we need the tax base a younger working population provides. So we either grow our own people or we import them. Though it’s probably cheaper to import them.
A declining population means declining productivity and a declining economy. So it concerns all of us.
There is some evidence to indicate that women who were well educated and had good jobs were deciding to pursue a career rather than have children, but increasingly, as millennials are becoming adults, they're taking a stance too.
And apparently its millennials who have decided that the world is too miserable a place to bring a child into. Seriously, who can blame them?
Prioritising your family isn't valued by society. We don't have income splitting for tax purposes. Housing unaffordability is at an all time high. Children have been told that the planet is imploding and its all the fault of humans.
Why on earth would you bring a child into the world if you didn't believe in the future or didn't think the job of raising a family was a valued and important job?
When times are good, when people are feeling confident, that's generally when they will have children. If you're fearful for the future, if you're hunkering down, if your battening the hatches, that's when you don't. So what does that say about the world right now?