PREVIOUS CHILDREN OF THE MOTHER
Changes in ABS processing of data collected by state and territory Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages from 2007 have resulted in the availability of improved information on previous births to mothers.
Prior to 2007, ABS published information on previous births of the mother from the current relationship only, for all states and territories. From 2007, data on previous births for all relationships (both current and previous, if any) of the mother are collected for all states and territories, excluding Victoria and Queensland (see paragraphs 46 to 49 of the Explanatory Notes for more information). Data for 2010 are presented in table 2.22.
Of the states and territories that collect data on all children born to a mother, New South Wales and Western Australia both recorded the highest proportion (both 44%) of first births to the mother (that is, no previous children), followed by South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory (both 43%), and the Northern Territory (42%).
For mothers who registered a birth in 2010, the Australian Capital Territory recorded the highest proportion (35%) of mothers who had had one child previously, while the Northern Territory recorded the highest proportion (29%) of mothers with two or more previous children.
Age of Mother
In 2010, 44% of confinements were to women who recorded having no previous children on the birth registration form, excluding births registered in Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania. The median age of these first-time mothers was 28.9 years, which is more than two years younger than the median age of second-time mothers (31.4 years).
Over one-third (35%) of mothers aged 45-49 years who registered a birth in 2010 recorded no previous children. This was a higher proportion of first births than mothers aged 35-39 years (28%) and 40-44 years (27%).
2.7 Confinements, Previous children of the mother by age of mother -
Australia(a) - 2010
Previous children of the mother
Five or more
|Age of Mother |
|15-19 years(c) |
|20-24 years |
|25-29 years |
|30-34 years |
|35-39 years |
|40-44 years |
|45-49 years(d) |
|Median age (years) |
|- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells) |
|(a) Includes all children of the mother. Excludes births registered in Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania. See paragraph 47 of the Explanatory Notes for more information. |
|(b) Includes births where previous children of the mother is not stated. |
|(c) Includes births to mothers aged less than 15 years. |
|(d) Includes births to mothers aged 50 years and over. |
|(e) Includes births to mothers where age is not stated. |
In 2010 (excluding births registered in Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania), 41% of nuptial confinements, 49% of ex-nuptial paternity acknowledged confinements, and 62% of ex-nuptial paternity not acknowledged confinements were to mothers with no previous children.
This pattern is reversed for mothers having their second or third child. In 2010, 36% of nuptial confinements, 29% of ex-nuptial paternity acknowledged confinements, and 18% of ex-nuptial paternity not acknowledged confinements were to mothers with one previous child.
Previous children of the mother(a), Nuptiality, Australia(b) -