I want a baby! Where to find NZ’s most parentally inclined singles

Young mother reading to her babies

For many singles, desire for long-term love goes hand-in-hand with the desire for family. For some, that may mean creating a family unit of just two people. But, for others, it means having children. Neither option is any more valid than the other but, for relationship harmony, it’s best to be on the same page as your partner. And that’s where our latest study can help.

We’ve analysed anonymous data from 44,000 single Kiwis aged 18-45 to determine the New Zealand cities where you can find the broodiest, most parentally inclined singles – along with with the most (and least!) broody cities in the country.

That means, whether you wish to live child-free, or whether you’re firmly in the ‘I want a baby’ camp, this study can help you plot your next moves and, perhaps, help you take the first step towards finding a partner whose goals match your own.

map of NZ showing where singles most want kids

The cities where you’re most likely to hear ‘I want a baby’

The large-scale study looked at the anonymous data from 44,000 New Zealanders registered with EliteSingles (22,000 men and 22,000 women), paying particular attention to a single question: do you want to have children. Participants could answer yes, no or maybe – and these individual answers were then averaged out geographically1, allowing the EliteSingles Research Team to determine the most parentally inclined cities in the country.

As it turns out, if you are thinking to yourself ‘’I want a baby,’’ then the best place to be in New Zealand is Opotiki in the Bay of Plenty. In this small town on the beach, baby fever is the strongest in the country, with 52% of local singles saying that they want children – an extremely high result, considering that the national ‘yes’ average is 39%. Of course, Opotiki is not the only city with babies on the brain and so the study also determined the top 10 most baby-crazy cities in the country:

Position Name of city or town Region % who DO want kids
1 Opotiki BOP 52%
2 Balclutha OTA 48%
3 Tuakau WKO 47%
4 Dargaville NTL 46.5%
5 Taupō WKO 46%
6 Dannevirke MWT 45.5%
7 Timaru CAN 45%
8 Wellington WGN 45%
9 Cromwell OTA 44.5%
10 Queenstown OTA 44%

What about those who don’t want kids?

Of course, babies are not for everyone, so what should those singles who wish to remain child-free do (apart from avoiding dating in Opotiki?). One suggestion could be to head for Alexandra in Otago, where 23% of singles say they don’t want children, making it the least parentally inclined city in New Zealand (as is clear to see when that 23% is compared with the national average of 14%).

Again however, Alexandra is not the only option on offer and the study also determined the 5 cities in NZ with the least broody singles:

Position Name of city or town Region % who DON’T want kids
1 Alexandra OTA 23%
2 Waipukurau HKB 22%
3 Katikati BOP 21.5%
4 Hawera TKI 19%
5 Rolleston CAN 19%

And what of those who haven’t yet decided either way? If you are one of the Kiwi singles who just can’t make up their mind about having kids, then you can find equally confused company in Stratford in Taranaki, a farming town that earns the title of most indecisive place in the country (at least where children are concerned). Nationally, an average of 47% of singles say ‘maybe’ when asked if they want kids – in Stratford that number is 57%!

Men vs women: who has the bigger case of ‘baby-fever’?

When it comes to pop culture and baby-fever, it’s usually women whose biological clocks are portrayed as having the louder tick. However, the study proved that this is not necessarily true in New Zealand. Indeed, when it comes to saying ‘I want a baby,’ single women are in fact less likely to admit to wanting children than single men. On average, 40% of Kiwi men definitely want children, while just 38% of women feel the same.

What’s more, women are much more likely than men to not want children. On average, 18% of women are adamant that they don’t want children. For men, that figure is just 11%. Where men beat women is in the sitting-on-the-fence department: 49% of men are not sure whether or not they want to have kids, compared with 44% of women.

Nonetheless, there are broody men and women out there. If you are after NZ’s most parentally inclined women, head for Waikanae near Wellington, where 53% of women want children. If it’s a broody man you’re after, then Wellsford near Auckland is the place to be: it’s a town where 58% of single men want babies.

Whether you want to meet someone who can’t wait to start a family, or whether you are holding out for someone who wants a childfree lifestyle, you can meet singles on your wavelength with us. Why not get started by clicking here?

EliteSingles Editorial August 2016

If you have questions about this study, please comment below or write to us at [email protected]


1 Anonymous study completed by EliteSingles researchers in July 2016, based on randomly selected data from 44,000 singles across New Zealand. Only cities that turned up 50 or more random reponses were included in the geographic averages. Please note, totals may not equal 100% due to rounding.

About the author: Sophie Watson

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