Completed fertility refers to the number of live births that a woman born in a particular year has had by the end of her reproductive life. One limitation of this measure of fertility is that it cannot be observed until a woman's reproductive life is complete. To overcome this limitation, a measure of completed fertility based on both observed and assumed age-specific fertility rates is used in table 2.3.
Completed fertility rates for women born in the early 1930s are the highest recorded in Australia (3.1 children). These women were the mothers of the 'baby boom' generation. Since then, completed fertility has declined, while the median age of mothers has increased. The 2006 to 2101 issue of Population Projections, Australia (cat. no. 3222.0, Series B) assumes completed fertility of women born in 2010 to be 1.8 births per woman.
For more information on completed fertility derived from the 2006 Census, see Chapter 5: How many children do Australian women have? in the 2006 issue of Births, Australia (cat. no. 3301.0).
2.3 Completed fertility(a)(b), Year of birth - Selected years
Average no. of children
Proportion based on projected births(c)
|Year of birth |
|- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells) |
|(a) Based on age-specific fertility rates. Women who have not yet completed their reproductive years are assumed to experience fertility rates used in Population Projections, Australia, 2006 to 2101 (cat. no. 3222.0) based on a total fertility rate of 1.8 babies per woman. |
|(b) Fertility is assumed to be completed at age 50. |
|(c) Proportion of the average number of children derived from assumed fertility rates. |