The overall number of births registered in South Africa continues to drop, according to a report by Statistics South Africa.
According to the report released on Tuesday highlighting the latest recorded live births, a total of 1 161 159 live births were registered at the department of home affairs in 2014. This represents a 0.5% decline as compared to 1 166 544 births that were registered in 2013.
“Overall, there were slightly more male (587 592) than female (573 567) births born and registered in 2014. Most of these births were from women aged 20–29 years,” the report read.
The majority of these births happened in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng – the country’s most populous provinces – and during the months of March, January and September.
The decline in the number of registered births, the report suggests that it could be caused the availability of birth records as well as the quality of birth registration, among other factors.
“The potential to improve birth registration coverage in South Africa exists, as health facilities with maternity and obstetric units now provide registration services, and the social grant system’s birth registration prerequisite complements the birth registration network,” said the report.
No comparable or reliable information on fathers could be provided as more than 60% of births were registered without details of fathers.
According to figures released on Tuesday by statistician-general Pali Lehohla, an increasing number of South African children have absent fathers. The stats revealed almost half the mothers in the country are single, while more than 50% of children are born to mothers who have never been married, most of these mothers were between the ages of 15 and 29.
Also pointed out in the report are the most popular names for new borns. Iminathi, Minenhle and Rethabile topped the list of most popular names for girls born and registered in 2014 while the most popular names among baby boys were Junior, Bandile and Kungawo. Most babies were born to the surnames Dlamini, Ntuli and Ngubane.
Picture credit cypressnewbornphotography.com
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