More male babies born in 2014, fathers still absent

SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

More male babies were born in the Eastern Cape in 2014 as the age of most of the mothers rose to an average of 27 years, but only a small percentage of the fathers were part of the home. This is according to the latest Recorded Live Births Report 2014 that was released by Statistician General Pali Lehohla at the Imbizo Centre in Parliament, Cape Town, on Tuesday.

He said during this period, registrations for male babies were more than those of females, with 102 male births per 100 female births registered.

“The sex ratio is the number of men per females that were born and as you can see, there were more males born.

“But in the general population, there are more women than males,” he said.

Lehohla said Gauteng had the highest male births ratio of 105 to every 100 female births, followed by the Western Cape, with a ratio of 103.

In the Eastern Cape, Free State, North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo, 102 male births took place per every 100 females, while 101 male births were recorded in KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape.

Overall, the report revealed that a total of 1 161 159 births were registered in South Africa in 2014.

The Statistician General said out of this number, just over 886 000, or 76.3% represented current births that took place in 2014, while approximately 274 000, or 24%, represented late registrations that occurred in previous years but were registered in 2014.

Age group of new mothers up to 27 years

The Statistician General said South African women were late bloomers in becoming parents.

He said the average age group of mothers who gave birth in 2014 has gone up to 27 years.

“The median age at which women give birth was at (in 1999) and has declined to 27 years.

“It is a high average that women start giving birth … it shows that there is a late start in South Africa in terms of giving birth,” he said.

High level of absent fathers recorded

The report also revealed that only 18% of fathers, whose children were born in 2014, were not part of the household.

Lehohla said this meant that there was a concerning 39% absent fathers who were alive and who did not contribute to the household at all.

The remaining 44% of fathers were absent due to death.

Statistics revealed that 49% of all never married mothers played an emotional and economic parenting roles in their households, while 30% were alive but not part of the household.

The remaining 21% were deceased.

“There is a high level of absenteeism of males in households. The whole absent father phenomenon is a phenomenon that continues,” Lehohla said.

– additional reporting SAnews.gov.za