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3301.0 - Births, Australia, 2009 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/11/2010   
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Contents >> Summary of findings >> Previous children of the mother

PREVIOUS CHILDREN OF THE MOTHER

Changes in ABS processing of data collected by state/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 45 to 48 of the Explanatory Notes for more information). Data for 2009 are presented in table 2.7.

Of the states and territories that collect data on all children born to a mother, Western Australia recorded the highest proportion (46%) of first births to the mother (that is, no previous children), followed by the Australian Capital Territory (45%) and New South Wales and South Australia (both 43%).

For mothers who registered a birth in 2009, 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.

2.7 Confinements, Previous children of the mother, State and territories - 2009

Previous children of the mother(a)
None
One
Two
Three
Four
Five or more
Not stated
Total confinements
State or territory of registration
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.

New South Wales
39 063
30 193
13 193
4 745
1 803
914
-
89 911
Victoria
32 043
24 064
9 973
3 107
973
660
-
70 820
Queensland
33 272
20 033
7 710
2 429
769
611
5
64 829
South Australia
8 397
6 504
2 917
923
400
309
np
19 452
Western Australia
14 098
9 750
4 119
1 449
518
443
-
30 377
Tasmania(b)
1 165
2 032
982
403
138
111
1 700
6 531
Northern Territory
1 487
1 154
565
274
126
109
-
3 715
Australian Capital Territory
2 524
1 974
746
237
76
48
-
5 605

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
np not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated
(a) Includes all children born to a mother, for all states and territories excluding Victoria and Queensland. For Victoria and Queensland, includes previous children of the current relationship only. For further information see paragraph 46 of the Explanatory Notes.
(b) Due to the high proportion of confinements in Tasmania for which no information on previous children of the mother was available, data for Tasmania should be interpreted with caution.



Age of Mother

During 2009, 44% of confinements were to women who recorded having no previous children on the birth registration statement, excluding births registered in Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania. In general, younger mothers are more likely to be giving birth to their first child, while older mothers are likely to already have at least one child.

Over one-third (35%) of mothers aged 45-49 years who registered a birth in 2009 recorded no previous children. This was a higher proportion of first births than mothers aged 35-39 years (28%) and 40-44 years (27%).

2.8 Confinements, Previous children of the mother by age of mother, Australia(a) - 2009

Previous children of the mother
None
One
Two
Three
Four
Five or more
Total confinements(b)
Age of Mother
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

15-19 years(c)
85.8
12.8
1.1
0.2
0.1
-
100.0
20-24 years
59.2
29.3
8.8
2.0
0.5
0.1
100.0
25-29 years
50.3
31.3
12.1
4.3
1.5
0.6
100.0
30-34 years
38.2
36.9
16.0
5.7
2.0
1.2
100.0
35-39 years
28.1
37.4
21.1
7.8
3.3
2.4
100.0
40-44 years
26.7
33.0
20.2
9.3
5.8
5.0
100.0
45-49 years(d)
35.1
20.9
17.6
11.1
6.1
9.1
100.0
Total(e)
44.0
33.3
14.5
5.1
2.0
1.2
100.0

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Excludes Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania. For further information see paragraph 46 of the Explanatory Notes.
(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 older.
(e) Includes births to mothers where age is not stated.



Nuptiality

In 2009 (excluding births registered in Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania), 41% of nuptial confinements, 50% 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 2009, 36% of nuptial confinements, 28% of ex-nuptial paternity acknowledged confinements, and 18% of ex-nuptial paternity not acknowledged confinements were to mothers with one previous child.

2.9 Confinements, Previous children of the mother(a), Nuptiality, Australia(b) - 2009
Graph: 2.9 Confinements, Previous children of the mother(a), Nuptiality, Australia(b)—2009






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