Baby boom dwindling as prices soar

THE COST OF FAMILY: Tracey Barnett (centre) with her children (from left) Tyler, 3, Charlotte, 6, Jessica, 14 and Cody, 11, says large families can be financially challenging.Despite being named Australia’s most family friendly city, Wagga’s baby scene, rather than booming, is falling behind its regional counterparts.

Statistics released on Monday revealed the NSW cities ofDubbo and Orange are leading the way in birth numbers, comingfifth and seventh respectively in the state, while Wagga came in at number 20.

Wagga mother of five Tracey Barnett said she was not surprised with the city’s poor performance, saying though Wagga was indeed“family friendly”, higher costof living was becoming a serious consideration in people’s family planning.

“People are just needing to plan more when considering whether or not to have children,” Mrs Barnett said.“I know people who have chosen not to have kids at all because they simply can’t afford to.”

Mrs Barnett admitted to pulling out her two young sons out of day care and swapping her daughter to a public schooldue to, what she described as,“exorbitant”expenses.

“With the city’s education, rent, day care and grocery prices, it’s no wonder couple’s are choosing to have less children,” she said.

The lower birth numbers in Wagga appear to be echoed across the state, with birth rates in NSWdropping by more than six per cent since 2012.

Though Mrs Barnett does not regret her decision to have a large family, she said having more children has meant altering the family’s lifestyle, including giving up meat at meal times and cutting outexpensive activities, such as going to the movies and out to restaurants.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.