NZ’s dip below population replacement level a chance to discuss priorities — academic

TVNZ One News 18 May 2021
Aotearoa dipping below the so-called population replacement level is a chance for a discussion about what the country’s population should be, a leading academic says.

Professor Paul Spoonley from Massey University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences told Seven Sharp there are two major reasons New Zealand’s level has dipped below the average of 2.1 children per woman.

“The decline in fertility kicked in around 2014. There are two major factors: one is the growing educational credentials of women and the other is that they are very much involved in our labour market so they’re doing jobs,” he said.

“I think the other thing is that the cost of living has just gone up and so we are really looking at two-income households if you want to live in a major centre.”

Spoonley said that while de-population can be a positive environmentally, it brings issues of its own.