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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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Contents >> Summary of findings >> Interval between occurrence and registration of births

INTERVAL BETWEEN OCCURRENCE AND REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS

ABS birth statistics are sourced from birth registration systems administered by the state and territory Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages, based on data provided on a registration form completed by the parent(s) of the child. Registration of births is compulsory in Australia under relevant state/territory legislation. Amendments to the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999, which took effect from 1 July 2007, require the registration of, or application for, registration of the birth of a child, as a condition for applying for the Baby Bonus.

There is usually an interval between the occurrence and registration of a birth. As a result, some births occurring in one year are not registered until the following year or later. This can be caused by either a delay by the parent(s) in submitting a completed form to the registry, or a delay by the registry in processing the birth (for example, due to follow-up activity to obtain missing information on the form, or resource limitations). For more information see paragraphs 10 to 12 and 27 to 28 of the Explanatory Notes.

The following analysis considers whether improvements in the timeliness of registration of births have occurred since 1 July 2007.


Births registered in the year of occurrence

Of the 295,700 births registered in 2009, 88% (260,600) occurred in 2009. The remaining 12% (35,100) occurred in 2008 or earlier years. Prior to 2005, the proportion of births registered in the year they occurred was generally declining. Of all births registered in 1989, 90% occurred in 1989 with the remainder occurring in earlier years. By 2002, this proportion had declined to 86%. In 2005 the proportion increased to 89%, largely as a result of changes to follow-up procedures introduced by the New South Wales registry. In 2006 and 2007, the proportion of births registered in the year of occurrence declined, due largely to a project undertaken by the Queensland Registry to follow-up and register previously unregistered births (see paragraphs 27 to 30 of the Explanatory Notes for more information).

2.14 Births registered in the year of occurrence, Australia - 1989 to 2009
Graph: 2.14 Births registered in the year of occurrence, Australia—1989 to 2009



Average interval between occurrence and registration of births

In order to analyse changes in the interval between the occurrence and registration of births, monthly intervals between the occurrence and registration of births were averaged over six month periods. The average interval between the occurrence and registration of births for each state and territory for the first and second halves of the years 2006 to 2009 is shown in table 2.15.

For Australia, the average intervals for each six-month period beginning 1 July 2007 were similar to earlier periods, indicating no improvement in the timeliness of registration of births.

Among the states and territories, average intervals varied widely for each six-month period since 1 July 2007, from 0.9 months for births registered in the Northern Territory for January to June 2008, to 5.0 months for births registered in Queensland for July to December 2008 and 2009. A comparison of average intervals over time shows some year-to-year volatility, however there is no indication that average intervals since 1 July 2007 have decreased compared with earlier periods.

It should be noted however that changes in timeliness of registration of births occurring after 1 July 2007 may be masked by other factors such as changes in procedures for processing birth registrations by state and territory registries. Accordingly, it is unclear whether the amendments to the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999, referred to above, have improved the timeliness of the registration of births.

2.15 Births, Average interval between occurrence and registration(a)

2006
2007
2008
2009








First half
Second half
First half
Second half
First half
Second half
First half
Second half
State or territory of registration
months
months
months
months
months
months
months
months

New South Wales
1.8
1.8
1.5
1.4
2.1
1.4
1.4
1.5
Victoria
2.1
1.6
2.1
2.6
1.7
1.9
2.1
2.0
Queensland
3.6
3.9
3.8
3.7
4.6
5.0
4.7
5.0
South Australia
2.0
2.2
1.9
1.7
1.8
1.9
2.0
1.9
Western Australia
2.3
2.5
2.3
2.4
2.4
2.4
2.3
2.4
Tasmania
2.0
1.9
2.3
2.0
1.7
1.6
1.9
1.7
Northern Territory
1.1
1.1
1.1
1.0
0.9
1.0
1.4
1.4
Australian Capital Territory
1.2
1.0
1.5
1.3
1.2
1.1
1.4
1.4
Australia
2.3
2.2
2.2
2.3
2.5
2.4
2.5
2.5

(a) In order to reduce the effect of very long delays in registration, intervals of more than 72 months (6 years) have been counted as an interval of 72 months.



Average interval between occurrence and registration of Indigenous births

In general, average intervals for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births are significantly larger than intervals for all births. The average interval between the occurrence and registration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births for each state and territory for the first and second halves of the years 2006 to 2009 is shown in table 2.16. As with all births, the average interval varies widely among the states and territories.

In contrast to total births, the average intervals for each six-month period beginning 1 January 2008 are higher than earlier periods, indicating no improvement in the timeliness of registration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births. Rather it appears that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births that have occurred in earlier periods and have not been registered were being registered in 2008 and 2009 leading to higher average intervals in several states and territories.

2.16 Indigenous births, Average interval between occurrence and registration(a)

2006
2007
2008
2009








First half
Second half
First half
Second half
First half
Second half
First half
Second half
State or territory of registration
months
months
months
months
months
months
months
months

New South Wales
3.3
3.8
3.2
2.4
3.4
2.4
2.6
2.7
Victoria
6.2
4.7
6.2
6.6
4.9
6.3
9.4
9.9
Queensland
9.7
9.8
12.0
8.0
12.9
16.0
14.6
17.1
South Australia
8.4
9.4
9.4
5.5
7.9
9.1
8.8
9.7
Western Australia
10.8
10.0
9.8
9.9
10.9
10.8
11.2
11.5
Tasmania
2.4
2.5
6.3
4.7
4.0
6.7
1.9
2.8
Northern Territory
1.3
1.5
1.3
1.4
1.4
1.4
2.3
2.3
Australian Capital Territory
2.8
2.6
3.9
3.3
5.8
2.5
7.1
6.4
Australia
6.5
6.4
7.4
5.7
7.7
8.4
8.7
9.8

(a) In order to reduce the effect of very long delays in registration, intervals of more than 72 months (6 years) have been counted as an interval of 72 months.






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