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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 10. 24 May 1972

Critical Age

Critical Age

A survey of some of the vital statistics about the Maori minority illustrates the enormity of the problem that confronts New Zealand society. The Maori still has a high birthrate of 37.72 per thousand compared with the national rate of 22.02. This high birthrate together with the lowering infant mortality rate leads to a population with a youthful age structure. Sixty per cent of the Maori population is under the age of twenty. These figures have other implications as well that must be faced up to. For instance the overall Maori - Pakeha ratio is 1: 13. But in the critical school age bracket it is 1:9. If we were to go further to pre-school children the ratio is reduced to 1: 7. This fact alone is already putting enorstrain on our education system and other social services.