Australian Bureau of Statistics

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3301.0 - Births, Australia, 2009 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/11/2010   
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CHARACTERISTICS OF PARENTS

Indigenous status

Around one-third (31%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births registered in 2009 were births for which both parents identified themselves as being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin on the birth registration statement, while for 42% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births only the mother identified herself as being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin (including births where paternity was not acknowledged and those where the father's Indigenous status was unknown). The remaining 27% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births were to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander father and a non-Indigenous mother (including births where the mother's Indigenous status was not stated).

3.5 Indigenous status of parents, Australia - 1999 to 2009
Graph: 3.5 Indigenous status of parents, Australia—1999 to 2009



Median age

Overall, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have children at younger ages than all women. The median age of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who registered a birth in 2009 was 24.5 years, six years lower than the median age of all mothers (30.6 years). Of the states and territories, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers living in the Northern Territory had the lowest median age (24.1 years), followed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers in Western Australia (24.2 years).

For Australia, where the age of the father was known, fathers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births in 2009 were younger than all fathers, with a median age of 27.8 years compared with 33.0 years for all fathers. Western Australia recorded the lowest median age of fathers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births (27.1 years), followed by Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory (all 27.6 years).


Nuptiality

In 2009, 85% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births were ex-nuptial (that is, births to women who were not in a registered marriage at the time of birth) compared with 35% of all births. Ex-nuptial births where the father did not sign the birth registration statement (that is, births where paternity was not acknowledged) accounted for 15% of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births, compared with 3% of all births.





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