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3301.0 - Births, Australia, 2012 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/10/2013   
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MEDIA RELEASE
24 October 2013
Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)
180/2013

Number of teenage mothers lowest in a decade

Fewer Australian women under the age of 20 are having babies than they were a decade earlier, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The Births, Australia, 2012 publication shows that in 2012, 11,420 babies were born to teenage mothers, down from 12,932 just a few years earlier in 2008.

Director of Demography, Bjorn Jarvis, said the fertility rate of teenage mothers has decreased to 16.1 babies per 1000 women in 2012, down from 17.4 in 2002.

"In contrast, we have seen the number of births to mothers over 40 continue to increase," Mr Jarvis said.

“The total fertility rate in Australia for 2012 was 1.93 babies per woman; higher than the record low of 1.74 in 2001 but still below the recent peak of 2.02 in 2008.

The Northern Territory had the highest fertility rate at 2.21 babies per woman, while the Australian Capital Territory had the lowest at 1.79.

The median age of all mothers was 30.7 years in 2012, whereas the median age of all fathers was 33 years," Mr Jarvis added.

More details can be found in Births, Australia, 2012 (cat. no. 3301.0). State, territory and sub-state information is also available for free 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

2002
2011
2012(a)
Change (%) 2002–2012
Change (%) 2011–2012

Australia(b)
Births (no.)
250 988
301 617
309 582
23.3
2.6
Total fertility rate(c)
1.771
1.917
1.933
Median age of mother (years)
30.2
30.6
30.7
Median age of father (years)
32.5
33.0
33.0
New South Wales
Births (no.)
86 583
99 054
98 508
13.8
-0.6
Total fertility rate(c)
1.813
1.963
1.932
Median age of mother (years)
30.3
30.9
30.9
Median age of father (years)
32.6
33.3
33.3
Victoria
Births (no.)
61 478
71 444
77 405
25.9
8.3
Total fertility rate(c)
1.697
1.778
1.891
Median age of mother (years)
31.0
31.4
31.3
Median age of father (years)
33.0
33.6
33.5
Queensland
Births (no.)
47 771
63 253
63 837
33.6
0.9
Total fertility rate(c)
1.814
2.017
1.997
Median age of mother (years)
29.5
29.8
29.8
Median age of father (years)
31.7
32.0
32.0
South Australia
Births (no.)
17 665
19 892
20 433
15.7
2.7
Total fertility rate(c)
1.735
1.868
1.898
Median age of mother (years)
30.4
30.3
30.3
Median age of father (years)
32.6
32.7
32.6
Western Australia
Births (no.)
23 601
32 259
33 627
42.5
4.2
Total fertility rate(c)
1.699
1.918
1.913
Median age of mother (years)
29.9
30.3
30.3
Median age of father (years)
32.2
32.7
32.7
Tasmania
Births (no.)
6 003
6 608
6 168
2.7
-6.7
Total fertility rate(c)
1.968
2.155
2.036
Median age of mother (years)
28.9
29.4
29.5
Median age of father (years)
31.3
31.8
31.8
Northern Territory
Births (no.)
3 724
3 954
4 104
10.2
3.8
Total fertility rate(c)
2.226
2.147
2.206
Median age of mother (years)
28.1
28.5
28.6
Median age of father (years)
31.6
31.5
31.4
Australian Capital Territory
Births (no.)
4 112
5 121
5 461
32.8
6.6
Total fertility rate(c)
1.571
1.735
1.794
Median age of mother (years)
30.7
31.5
31.3
Median age of father (years)
32.8
33.6
33.4

(a) Fertility rates for 2012 have been calculated using preliminary 30 June 2012 Estimated Resident Population based on results from the 2011 Census.
(b) Includes Other Territories
(c) 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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