NZ Herald Jul 20, 2010
Childless or empty-nest couples have replaced iconic families of Mum, Dad and the kids as New Zealand’s most common kind of household. Statistics New Zealand’s latest family and household projections show that couples without children at home overtook couples with children at home in 2008 for the first time since at least World War II. Traditional families of Mum, Dad and the kids are projected to shrink further from 31 per cent of all adults aged 18 and over in 2006 to just 23 per cent by 2031.
Family First spokesman Bob McCoskrie said the projections were a warning shot for the country. “We should be doing everything we can to promote stable two-parent homes for the sake of the kids, and for the sake of the adults having the support they need to bring up the kids.” But Waikato University demographer Natalie Jackson said trends towards older parenting and fewer children could help more couples stay together in the future anyway.