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1367.5 - Western Australian Statistical Indicators, 2010  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/01/2011  Final
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Contents >> Population >> Births

BIRTHS

BIRTHS, Western Australia

Unit
2009
2008
1999

Crude birth rate(a)
rate
13.7
14.6
13.4
Total fertility rate(b)
All births
rate
1.959
2.101
1.788
Births to Indigenous women(c)
rate
3.058
3.160
2.388
Registered births
Total
no.
30 878
31 850
24 849
Nuptial
no.
19 040
19 713
16 458
Ex-nuptial
no.
11 838
12 137
8 391
Life expectancy at birth(d)
Males
years
79.5
79.3
76.4
Females
years
84.1
84.0
82.1

(a) Number of births registered in the calendar year per 1,000 of the estimated resident population at 30 June of that year.
(b) The sum of age-specific fertility rates (live births at each age of mother per 1,000 of the estimated female population of women of that age). It represents the number of children a female would bear during her lifetime if she experienced current age-specific fertility rates at each age of her reproductive life.
(c) Due to changes in coverage of Indigenous births, care should be taken when interpreting changes in the fertility of Indigenous mothers over time.
(d) Based on death rates over a three year period during which mortality has remained much the same: 2007-2009, 2006-2008 and 1997-1999.
Source: Births, Australia (cat. no. 3301.0); Australian Historical Population Statistics (cat. no. 3105.0.65.001); Life Tables, Western Australia (cat. no. 3302.5.55.001)


  • In 2009, the number of births in WA was 3.1% lower than the number registered in 2008. This was a substantial annual decrease when compared with a national decrease of 0.3%.
  • From 2008 to 2009, the fall in nuptial births (-3.4%) was larger than the fall in ex-nuptial births (-2.5%). Ex-nuptial births made up around 38% of all births in 2009, compared with 34% in 1999.
  • Births to Indigenous women made up approximately 8% of total births in WA in 2009, with the total fertility rate (TFR) for Indigenous women being considerably higher than for the total female population of the state.
  • In 2009, the life expectancy of a child born between 2007 and 2009 was estimated to be 79.5 years for boys and 84.1 years for girls. In 1999, life expectancy at birth was just over three years lower for boys (76.4) and two years lower for girls (82.1).


Total Fertility Rate, 1975-2009(a)

Graph: Total Fertility Rate, 1975-2009

  • In 2002, fertility in WA reached an historic low of 1.70 babies per woman. For the next six years, the total fertility rate (TFR) trended upwards, reaching 2.10 babies per woman in 2008, well above the national average of 1.96. In 2009, the TFR dropped to 1.96 for WA, compared with 1.90 for Australia.


BIRTHS AND FERTILITY RATES, by Age of Mother

Unit
2009
2008
1999

Age of mother
15-19 years
no.
1 514
1 686
1 401
35 years and over
no.
6 428
6 817
3 892
Age-specific fertility(a)
15-19 years
rate
20.1
22.7
21.7
35 years and over
rate
26.5
28.7
18.2
Median age of mother
Total
years
30.2
30.3
29.4
Indigenous
years
24.2
24.2
24.4

(a) Live births per 1,000 women of that age
Source: Births, Australia (cat. no. 3301.0)

  • The fall in the total number of births in WA from 2008 to 2009 was driven by a 10% decrease in births to women aged 15-19 years and a 5.7% decrease in births to women aged 35 years and over. Births in both of these age brackets, along with the corresponding age-specific fertility rates, had been increasing in recent times.
  • Women aged 30-34 years continued to record the highest fertility rate of all age groups, with births to these mothers comprising almost 31% of all WA births in 2009. However, the fertility rate of this age group decreased in 2009 to 124.8 births per 1,000 women, after peaking at 131.0 births in the previous year.
  • In 2009, the median age of women who gave birth in WA was 30.2 years, compared with the median age of 29.4 in 1999. The median age has fallen slightly since 2005 when it peaked at 30.4 years. By comparison, the median age for Indigenous mothers in 2009 was still only 24.2 years.
  • The median age of women who gave birth in a nuptial relationship (31.7 years) was over five years older than those who gave birth in an ex-nuptial relationship (26.5 years).

The following link takes you to summary births data (1998-2008) for Australian states and territories for total populations (Table 1) and for Indigenous populations (Table 9) on the Downloads page of Births, Australia, 2009 (cat. no 3301.0).

The next link takes you to historical data from Australian Historical Population Statistics (cat. no 3105.0.65.001).

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