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3301.0 - Births, Australia, 2011 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/10/2012   
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MEDIA RELEASE
25 October 2012
Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)
164/2012


Record number of women over 40 having babies

More Australian women over the age of 40 are having babies than ever before, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ABS’ Births, Australia, 2011 publication shows that in 2011 a record 12,800 babies were born to women over 40, up from 7,100 in 2001.

Director of ABS Demography Bjorn Jarvis said the fertility rate for mothers in the 40–44 year old age group has increased to 15.1 babies per 1000 women in 2011 from 9.2 in 2001.

"We have also seen the total number of births in Australia pass the 300,000 mark for the first-time," Mr Jarvis said.

“The total fertility rate in Australia for 2011 was 1.88 babies per woman; this is higher than the record low of 1.73 in 2001 but a decline from the recent peak of 1.96 in 2008.

“Tasmania had the highest fertility rate at 2.17 babies per woman, while Victoria had the lowest at 1.75.

“The median age of all mothers was 30.6 years in 2011, whereas the median age of all fathers was 33 years,’ Mr Jarvis added.

More details can be found in Births, Australia, 2011 (cat. no. 3301.0). State, territory and sub-state information is also available for download from the ABS website (www.abs.gov.au).

Media notes:

  • Population fertility rates measure a community's actual reproductive outcomes, a concept of adding to the population through live births. Still births are not added to the population and therefore are not counted in this context, however, are reported in Perinatal Deaths, Australia (cat. no. 3304.0).
  • The total fertility rate represents the average number of babies that a woman could expect to bear during her reproductive lifetime if current fertility rates continue.
  • Please ensure when reporting on ABS data that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) as the source.

Births, Summary statistics

2001
2010(a)
2011(b)
Change 2001–2011 (%)
Change 2010–2011 (%)

Australia(c)
Births (no.)
246 394
297 903
301 617
22.4
1.2
Total fertility rate(d)
1.729
1.886
1.884
Median age of mother (years)
30.0
30.7
30.6
Median age of father (years)
32.3
33.1
33.0
New South Wales
Births (no.)
84 578
95 918
99 054
17.1
3.3
Total fertility rate(d)
1.762
1.865
1.908
Median age of mother (years)
30.0
31.0
30.9
Median age of father (years)
32.5
33.4
33.3
Victoria
Births (no.)
58 626
70 568
71 444
21.9
1.2
Total fertility rate(d)
1.610
1.756
1.748
Median age of mother (years)
30.7
31.6
31.4
Median age of father (years)
32.8
33.7
33.6
Queensland
Births (no.)
47 678
64 467
63 253
32.7
-1.9
Total fertility rate(d)
1.795
2.030
1.964
Median age of mother (years)
29.3
29.7
29.8
Median age of father (years)
31.5
32.1
32.0
South Australia
Births (no.)
17 281
20 076
19 892
15.1
-0.9
Total fertility rate(d)
1.677
1.874
1.847
Median age of mother (years)
30.3
30.2
30.3
Median age of father (years)
32.5
32.6
32.7
Western Australia
Births (no.)
24 002
31 424
32 259
34.4
2.7
Total fertility rate(d)
1.726
1.957
1.953
Median age of mother (years)
29.8
30.2
30.3
Median age of father (years)
32.1
32.8
32.7
Tasmania
Births (no.)
6 430
6 385
6 608
2.8
3.5
Total fertility rate(d)
2.079
2.089
2.166
Median age of mother (years)
29.1
29.2
29.4
Median age of father (years)
31.4
31.7
31.8
Northern Territory
Births (no.)
3 822
3 899
3 954
3.5
1.4
Total fertility rate(d)
2.297
2.103
2.131
Median age of mother (years)
27.9
28.5
28.5
Median age of father (years)
31.2
31.5
31.5
Australian Capital Territory
Births (no.)
3 938
5 149
5 121
30.0
-0.5
Total fertility rate(d)
1.519
1.804
1.763
Median age of mother (years)
30.4
31.5
31.5
Median age of father (years)
32.4
33.7
33.6

(a) Fertility rates for 2010 have been calculated using revised 30 June 2010 estimated resident population based on results from the 2006 Census.
(b) Fertility rates for 2011 have been calculated using preliminary 30 June 2011 estimated resident population based on results from the 2006 Census.
(c) Includes Other Territories
(d) Babies per woman. The total fertility rate represents the average number of babies that a woman could expect to bear during her reproductive lifetime if current fertility rates continue.


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