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1345.4 - SA Stats, Feb 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/02/2007   
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BIRTHS - SOUTH AUSTRALIA

The number of South Australian births registered in 2005 was 3.9% higher than in 2004, but was still 10.5% below the 19,900 registered births in 1975. During 2005 there were 17,800 registered births in South Australia. Of these births just over half (51.0% or 9,100) were male and 49.0% (or 8,700) were female, with the sex ratio at birth being 104.4 male babies for every 100 female babies.

In 2005 there were 259,800 births registered in Australia, 2.2% higher than in 2004 and 11.5% higher than in 1975.

There were 720 births registered in South Australia during 2005 where at least one parent was identified as Indigenous (4.0% of South Australian births). For the same period, there were 12,100 births registered in Australia where at least one parent was identified as Indigenous (4.6% of Australian births).

REGISTERED BIRTHS, South Australia
Graph: Registered Births, South Australia
Source: Australian Historical Population Statistics (cat. no. 3105.0.65.001) and Births, Australia (cat. no. 3301.0)


TOTAL FERTILITY RATE

In 2005, South Australia's total fertility rate (TFR) was 1.79 babies per woman, higher than the 2004 figure of 1.71 but lower than the 1975 figure of 2.00.

The TFR in Australia in 2005 was 1.81 babies per woman, higher than the 2004 figure of 1.77 and lower than the 1975 figure of 2.15.

All states and territories recorded higher TFRs in 2005 compared with 2004. Northern Territory had the highest TFR (2.29) in 2005 and South Australia had the third lowest. The Australian Capital Territory had the lowest TFR of 1.65.

The TFR represents the average number of babies that a woman could expect to bear during her reproductive lifetime, assuming current age-specific fertility rates continue to apply. TFRs for the states, territories and Australia are based on individual years of birth registration data. TFRs for Adelaide, the balance of South Australia and Local Government Areas are average rates calculated using data for the three years ending in the reference year (i.e. 2005 rates are an average for 2003, 2004 and 2005).

TOTAL FERTILITY RATES(a)
Graph: Total  Fertility Rates(a), SA and Australia
Source: Australian Historical Population Statistics (cat. no. 3105.0.65.001) and Births, Australia (cat. no. 3301.0)


In 2005, the TFR for the balance of South Australia (2.08) was higher than the TFR for Adelaide (1.64). The Local Government Area (LGA) with the highest TFR in South Australia was Orroroo/Carrieton (DC) with 3.27 babies per woman, followed by Cleve (DC) (3.07) and Southern Mallee (DC) (2.97). The LGAs with the lowest TFRs in South Australia were Adelaide (C) (0.90), Holdfast Bay (C) (1.25), and Walkerville (M) (1.27). Adelaide was the second lowest TFR of all LGAs in Australia in 2005, behind only Perth (0.81).

The TFR for Indigenous women in South Australia in 2005 (2.09 babies per woman) was slightly higher than for all Indigenous women in Australia (2.06). Indigenous women in the Northern Territory recorded the highest TFR (2.47) of the states and territories while Indigenous women in Tasmania recorded the lowest TFR (1.67).


AGE-SPECIFIC FERTILITY

In 2005 South Australian women aged 30–34 years recorded the highest fertility rate of all South Australian women, with 112.9 babies per 1,000 women. This was slightly higher than the 2004 rate of 112.7 and almost double the 1975 rate of 62.1. In 1975 women aged 25–29 years recorded the highest fertility, with 143.7 babies per 1,000 women.

In 2005, Australian women aged 30-34 years recorded their highest fertility since 1964, with 117.5 babies per 1,000 women. This was an increase from 114.4 babies per 1,000 women in 2004. In 1975, the fertility rate for Australian women aged 30–34 years was 74.1.

In 2005, South Australian women aged 25–29 years recorded the second highest fertility rate of all South Australian women, increasing to 110.0 babies per 1,000 women from 100.4 in 2004, but lower than 143.7 in 1975. A similar pattern was seen for Australian women aged 25–29 years. The fertility rate for this group was 103.0 babies per 1,000 women in 2005, up from 102.5 in 2004 but lower than 149.6 in 1975.

Many more babies were born per 1,000 women aged 20–24 years in South Australia and Australia in 1975 than in 2005. The fertility rate for South Australian women aged 20–24 years in 2005 was 55.2 per 1,000 women. While this was an increase from 2004 (49.1) it was much lower than in 1975 (134.1). The fertility rate for Australian women aged 20–24 in 2005 was 52.9 babies per 1,000 women. This was a small decrease from 2004 (53.4) and much lower than 1975 (133.9).


Teenage Fertility

Declines in fertility rates amongst Australian teenagers have occurred since 1975. Some states and territories recorded an increase in teenage fertility in 2005. Between 2004 and 2005 South Australia recorded the largest increase of all states and territories (13.8 babies per 1,000 women aged 15–19 years in 2004 to 18.9 in 2005). Despite this recent increase, teenage fertility in South Australia remains considerably lower than earlier years; in 1975 South Australia's teenage fertility was 35.8. Between 2004 and 2005, national teenage fertility continued to decrease, from 16.3 to 16.0. In contrast, in 1975 teenage fertility was 40.1.

AGE-SPECIFIC FERTILITY RATES(a), South Australia

Graph: Age-Specific Fertility Rates(a), South Australia
Source: Australian Historical Population Statistics (cat. no. 3105.0.65.001) and Births, Australia (cat. no. 3301.0)



NUPTIAL AND EXNUPTIAL BIRTHS

For both South Australia and Australia, the proportion of exnuptial births has been increasing since the 1950s.

In 2005, 63.4% of births were nuptial births, that is births to South Australian mothers who were married at the time of birth (marriage refers to a registered marriage). Exnuptial births accounted for the remaining 36.6% of births, although many of these births may have been to mothers in de facto relationships. An exnuptial birth is the birth of a child whose parents were not legally married to each other at the time of the child's birth. In 1975, South Australian nuptial births accounted for 90.3% of all births and 9.7% of births were exnuptial.

In 2005, 67.8% of all Australian births were nuptial births and 32.2% of births were exnuptial births. In 1975, Australian nuptial births accounted for 89.8% of all births and 10.2% of births were exnuptial.


EXNUPTIAL BIRTHS, Proportion of all births

Graph: Exnuptial Births, Proportion of all births, SA and Australia
Source: Australian Historical Population Statistics (cat. no. 3105.0.65.001) and Births, Australia (cat. no. 3301.0)



Acknowledgement of paternity

With exnuptial births comes the possibility that the father may not acknowledge the birth (that is, the father has not signed the birth registration statement). While the number of exnuptial births has greatly increased over the past thirty years, the proportion of births in which paternity was not acknowledged has decreased. In South Australia the proportion of all exnuptial births where paternity was not acknowledged decreased from 47.5% in 1975 to 9.2% in 2005. For Australia, the proportion of all exnuptial births where paternity was not acknowledged decreased from 74.2% in 1975 to 10.0% in 2005.

PATERNITY-NOT-ACKNOWLEDGED BIRTHS, Proportion of all exnuptial births
Graph: Paternity-not-acknowledged Births, Proportion of all exnuptial births, SA and Australia
Source: Australian Historical Population Statistics (cat. no. 3105.0.65.001) and Births, Australia (cat. no. 3301.0)


AGE OF PARENTS AT CONFINEMENT

The median age of all South Australian mothers giving birth in 2005 (referred to as their age of confinement) was 30.1 years, lower than that recorded for 2004 (30.8 years). This was the first decrease over the period under review in this article. In 1975 the median age of South Australian mothers was 25.4 years. The Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory also reported declines in the median age of mothers while all other states reported increases.

The median age of all Australian mothers giving birth in 2005 was the highest on record (30.7 years). This was higher than 2004 (30.6 years) and 1975 (25.8 years).

Like their female counterparts, the median age of South Australian fathers has also declined. In 2005 the median age of all South Australian fathers was 32.6 years, slightly lower than that recorded for 2004 (33.0 years). In 1975 the median age of South Australian fathers was 28.0 years.

The median age of all Australian fathers was 32.9 years in 2005, higher than that recorded for 2004 (32.8 years) and 1975 (28.6 years).

Both South Australian and Australian women who register an exnuptial birth are more likely to be younger than women who register a nuptial birth. Both South Australian and Australian women who registered an exnuptial birth in 2005 had a median age almost five years younger than women who registered a nuptial birth. In 2005, the median age of South Australian women who registered an exnuptial birth was 26.4 years (31.3 years for nuptial births). Similarly, Australian women who registered an exnuptial birth in 2005 had a median age of 27.0 years (31.7 years for nuptial births).

MEDIAN AGE OF MOTHERS, South Australia
Graph: Median Age of Mothers, South Australia
Source: Australian Historical Population Statistics (cat. no. 3105.0.65.001) and Births, Australia (cat. no. 3301.0)


When considering only exnuptial births, those exnuptial births where paternity was not acknowledged were more likely to have a younger mother. In 2005, the median age of South Australian women who had an exnuptial birth where paternity was not acknowledged was 23.6 years (26.7 years for exnuptial births where the paternity was acknowledged). In 2005, the median age of Australian women who had an exnuptial birth where paternity was not acknowledged was 25.1 years (27.2 years for exnuptial births where the paternity was acknowledged).


REFERENCES

Australian Historical Population Statistics (cat. no. 3105.0.65.001)
Births, Australia (cat. no. 3301.0)

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