APPENDIX DIFFERENCES BETWEEN COLLECTIONS
BIRTH REGISTRATIONS COMPARED TO THE PERINATAL DATA COLLECTION
Birth registrations data in this publication are not the only births data available in Australia. The National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) also collects birth data from midwives and other health professionals who attend births. These data are published annually in Australia's Mothers and Babies ( Li Z, McNally L, Hilder L & Sullivan E A 2011, Australia's mothers and babies 2009, Perinatal statistics series no. 25. cat. no. PER 52. Canberra; AIHW).
As information from these two collections are from different sources, the statistics obtained may vary. For example, the Perinatal Data Collection reported the occurrence of 296,800 live births in Australia in 2009 (the latest available data), 0.4% more than the 295,700 births registered in the same year. Furthermore, births from the Perinatal Data Collection are released on a year of occurrence basis, while registered births from the ABS Birth Registrations collection are predominantly released on a year of registration basis. Prior to 1994, the Perinatal Data Collection showed fewer births than births registered. This position then reversed, with more births recorded in the Perinatal Data Collection than births registered. The size of the difference between the two collections has varied between 0.4% and 5.0%.
While difficult to explain the differences, the greater number of births in the Perinatal Data Collection in recent years may be due to improvements in quality and coverage, particularly with the introduction of a perinatal National Minimum Dataset (NMDS) in 1997 which developed national standards for the collection of perinatal statistics. The trend may also reflect the likelihood of parent(s) to delay or fail to register the birth of a child.
This page last updated 8 March 2013