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STATE AND TERRITORY
Age-specific fertility rates
In 2008 women aged 30-34 years recorded the highest fertility rates of all age groups in all states and territories with the exception of Tasmania and the Northern Territory, where women aged 25-29 years recorded the highest fertility rates. Between 2007 and 2008, all states and territories, with the exception of Victoria and Queensland, recorded increases in fertility rates for women aged 30-34 years. Western Australia recorded the largest increase, with women aged 30-34 years having 132.0 babies per 1,000 women in 2008 (up from 124.6 in 2007), followed by the Northern Territory (105.4 babies per 1,000 women in 2008, up from 98.5 in 2007).
Teenage fertility rates
At the national level, the teenage fertility rate in 2008 was 17.3 babies per 1,000 women aged 15-19 years, slightly higher than in 2007 (16.0 babies per 1,000 women aged 15-19 years). However, amongst the states and territories different patterns in teenage fertility rates exist. In 2008 the Australian Capital Territory (8.0) and Victoria (10.7) recorded the lowest teenage fertility rates in Australia, while the Northern Territory (52.2) recorded the highest.
The Northern Territory recorded a decrease in the teenage fertility rate (from 58.8 in 2007 to 52.2 in 2008), while Western Australia recorded an increase (from 20.5 in 2007 to 22.8 in 2008). The Australian Capital Territory also recorded a decrease in the teenage fertility rate while the remaining states recorded small increases.
The three most populous states accounted for over three-quarters (77%) of births registered in Australia in 2008: 94,700 in New South Wales (32%), 71,200 in Victoria (24%) and 63,100 in Queensland (21%). These proportions reflect the proportions of the Australian female population in reproductive ages living in these states.
Between 2007 and 2008 all states and territories recorded increases in registered births (table 2.12). Western Australia and New South Wales recorded the largest proportional increases (up 9.2% and 5.8% respectively).
Median age of parents at confinement
Of the states and territories, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory had the oldest mothers of births registered in 2008, both with a median age of 31.6 years. The Northern Territory and Tasmania had the youngest mothers, with median ages of 28.1 years and 29.2 years respectively. The median age of all mothers who gave birth in Australia in 2008 was 30.7 years.
The Northern Territory and Tasmania also had the youngest fathers in 2008, with median ages of 31.4 and 31.9 years respectively, while Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory had the oldest fathers, both with a median age of 33.8 years. For Australia, the median age of all fathers (where age is known) was 33.1 years.
In 2008, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory recorded the highest proportion of births to parents in a registered marriage (both 72%), followed by New South Wales (70%).
The highest proportions of births to women who were not in a registered marriage were recorded in the Northern Territory (63%) and Tasmania (50%), with these regions also recording the highest proportions of births where paternity was not acknowledged (15% and 6% respectively). Note that the number of exnuptial births in Tasmania may be overstated. See paragraphs 36 to 38 of the Explanatory Notes for more information.