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3301.0 - Births, Australia, 2008 Quality Declaration 
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Contents >> Summary of findings >> INTERVAL BETWEEN OCCURRENCE AND REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS

INTERVAL BETWEEN OCCURRENCE AND REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS

ABS births statistics are sourced from birth registrations systems administered by the various state and territory Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages, based on data provided on an information 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 even 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). In addition, the registration date, essentially the processing date, that each state and territory Registrar assigns to a birth registration, differs. 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 296,600 births registered in 2008, 87.8% (260,400) occurred in 2008. The remaining 12.2% (36,200) occurred in 2007 or earlier years. Prior to 2005, the proportion of births registered in the year they occurred was generally declining. Of all births registered in 1988, 91.5% occurred in 1988 with the remainder occurring in earlier years. By 2002 this proportion had declined to 86.2%. In 2005 the proportion increased to 89.0%, 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 that occurred in the same year declined, due largely to decreases in Queensland (see paragraphs 27 to 29 of the Explanatory Notes for more information). The proportion of births registered in 2008 that occurred in 2008 was 87.8%, slightly higher than in 2007 (87.5%).

2.13 Births registered in the year of occurrence
Graph: 2.13 Births registered in the year of occurrence



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. Table 2.14 shows the average interval between the occurrence and registration of births for each state and territory for the first and second halves of the years 2005 to 2008.

For Australia overall, the average intervals for each half year following 1 July 2007 (2.3 months, 2.5 months and 2.4 months) were similar to earlier periods, indicating no improvement in the timeliness of registration of births since then.

Among the states and territories, average intervals varied widely for the three most recent half-year periods, from 0.9 months for births registered in the Northern Territory to 5.0 months for births registered in Queensland. A comparison of average intervals over time shows year to year volatility, but no indication that average intervals since 1 July 2007 have decreased compared to earlier periods.

It should be noted however that changes in timeliness of registration of births occurring after 1 July 2007 may be being masked by other factors such as changes in procedures for processing birth registrations by state and territory registries.

2.14 BIRTHS(a), Average interval between occurrence and registration

2005
2006
2007
2008
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
2.1
1.6
1.8
1.8
1.5
1.4
2.1
1.4
Victoria
2.1
1.9
2.1
1.6
2.1
2.6
1.7
1.9
Queensland
3.5
3.2
3.6
3.9
3.8
3.7
4.6
5.0
South Australia
2.0
2.0
2.0
2.2
1.9
1.7
1.8
1.9
Western Australia
2.3
2.8
2.3
2.5
2.3
2.4
2.4
2.4
Tasmania
2.8
2.2
2.0
1.9
2.3
2.0
1.7
1.6
Northern Territory
1.2
1.1
1.1
1.1
1.1
1.0
0.9
1.0
Australian Capital Territory
1.3
1.3
1.2
1.0
1.5
1.3
1.2
1.1
Australia
2.4
2.1
2.3
2.2
2.2
2.3
2.5
2.4

(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 interval of 72 months.



Average interval between occurrence and registration of Indigenous births

Table 2.15 shows the average interval between the occurrence and registration of births for each state and territory for the first and second halves of the years 2005 to 2008, for births where one or both parents identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin on the birth registration statement (Indigenous births). In general, average intervals for Indigenous births are significantly larger than intervals for all births.

As for all births, the average intervals for each half year following 1 July 2007 (5.7 months, 7.7 months and 8.4 months) are similar (or higher) than earlier periods, indicating no improvement in the timeliness of registration of Indigenous births since then.

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

2005
2006
2007
2008
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
4.7
2.5
3.3
3.8
3.2
2.4
3.4
2.4
Victoria
6.1
5.8
6.2
4.7
6.2
6.6
4.9
6.3
Queensland
9.6
7.8
9.7
9.8
12.0
8.0
12.9
16.0
South Australia
9.0
9.8
8.4
9.4
9.4
5.5
7.9
9.1
Western Australia
8.6
11.8
10.8
10.0
9.8
9.9
10.9
10.8
Tasmania
5.2
2.2
2.4
2.5
6.3
4.7
4.0
6.7
Northern Territory
1.6
1.4
1.3
1.5
1.3
1.4
1.4
1.4
Australian Capital Territory
3.0
3.0
2.8
2.6
3.9
3.3
5.8
2.5
Australia
6.8
5.9
6.5
6.4
7.4
5.7
7.7
8.4

(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 intervals of 72 months.






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