Birth weight is a key indicator of the relative health status of babies. A comparison of the average birth weight of babies of Indigenous mothers with all babies shows that Indigenous babies are generally smaller. According to the Perinatal Data Collection (AIHW, 2008) the average birth weight of babies of Indigenous mothers in 2006 was 3,169 grams, 209 grams lower than the national average for all babies (3,370 grams).
Babies are defined as being of low birth weight if their birth weight is less than 2,500 grams. In 2006, 12% of babies to Indigenous mothers were of low birth weight, more than twice the rate of all babies (6%).