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Wellington, Feb 20 – The number of deaths in New Zealand rose to 38,574 in 2022, partially impacted by Covid-19, the statistics department said on Monday.
This was a 10 per cent increase in the number of registered deaths compared with 2021, when there were 34,932 deaths registered, according to Stats NZ.
“The increased number of deaths in 2022 was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Xinhua news agency quoted population estimates and projections manager Michael MacAskill as saying.
The increase in deaths also partly reflects New Zealand’s ageing population, MacAskill said, adding that nearly two in every three deaths in 2022 were for people aged 75 years or older, and one in every five deaths were to people aged 90 years or over.
In most years, life expectancy at birth in New Zealand increases slightly for both males and females.
However, the increased number of deaths over the last year has resulted in life expectancy at birth staying relatively flat, he said.
“New Zealand’s life expectancy has plateaued, while in recent years it has dropped in many countries, including Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom (Britain),” MacAskill said.
Deaths registered from 2020 to 2022, used to calculate life expectancy in New Zealand, shows that a newborn boy can expect to live, on average, 80.5 years and a newborn girl can expect to live, on average, 84 years.
Population projections indicate that life expectancy will return to a slow increase for both males and females.
It is assumed to increase from 80.8 years in 2023 to 84.2 years in 2048 for males, an increase of 3.4 years of life; and from 84.1 years to 87.3 years for females, an increase of 3.2 years, Stats NZ said.