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Mothers' day facts and figures from the ABS (Media Release)
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May 9, 2008
Mothers' day facts and figures from the ABS
  • The median age of mothers who gave birth in 2006 was 30.8, up from 29.2 in 1996.
  • Women could expect to have 1.8 children in their lifetime in 2006, the most since 1995.
  • Births are up - Australia registered 265,900 births during 2006 - more than in any year during the last three decades.
  • More mothers with children aged under 15 years are employed than in the past. Almost two-thirds (63%) of mothers with children aged under 15 years were employed in March 2008, compared with 54% ten years earlier.
  • 60% of employed mothers with children aged under 15 years worked part time.
  • As employment among mothers has increased, the use of formal child care has also increased. The percentage of children under the age of 12 years attending formal care increased from 14% in 1996 to 23% in 2005.
  • In 2006, mothers with children aged under 15 years spent, on average, between 16 hours per week (for those employed full time) to 28 hours per week (for those not employed) caring for children.
  • In 2005, 83% of employed mothers with very young children (aged under 2 years) used some form of working arrangement to help balance work and child care responsibilities. The arrangements most commonly used were flexible working hours, used by 44% of employed mothers; permanent part-time work, used by 39%; and working from home, used by 27%.
  • 67% of mothers in a couple family with children aged under 15 years, and 61% of lone mothers with children aged under 15 years, reported in 2006 that they 'always or often felt rushed or pressed for time'.

Information sourced from Births, Australia, 2006, cat. no. 3301.0, Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery, Mar 2008, cat. no. 6291.0.55.001 and Labour Force data available on request, Child Care, Australia, June 2005, cat. no. 4402.0, How Australians Use Their Time, 2006, cat. no. 4153.0 and Pregnancy and Employment Transitions, cat. no. 4913.0.

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