ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
This publication brings together statistics and indicators for births in Australia.
DATA IN THIS PUBLICATION
This publication contains birth registration data for live births, except where otherwise stated. Populations used in the calculation of rates for 2004 are the revised estimated resident population by age and sex at 30 June 2004. Unless otherwise stated, state or territory relates to the state or territory of usual residence.
In commentary based on the statistics in this publication, it is recommended that the relevant statistics be rounded. All data are affected by errors in reporting and processing. Birth registration data are also affected by delays in registration. These data have had small values suppressed or randomised to protect confidentiality. No reliance should be placed on statistics with small values.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Joanna Forster-Jones on Canberra (02) 6252 5117.
SMALL INCREASE IN FERTILITY
- Australia's total fertility rate (TFR) in 2004 was 1.77 babies per woman, slightly higher than in 2003 (1.75). Over recent years the TFR has been relatively stable, varying between 1.73 and 1.78 since 1997.
- The increase in the TFR was largely due to births to women aged 30 to 39 years, with age-specific fertility rates in this age range returning to levels last observed at the end of the post-war baby boom in the mid 1960s.
- Women aged 30-34 years experienced the highest fertility of all age groups, increasing from 112.5 babies per 1,000 women in 2003 to 114.4 babies per 1,000 women in 2004.
- Fertility of women aged 35-39 years increased from 54.3 babies per 1,000 women in 2003 to 57.4 babies per 1,000 women in 2004, exceeding fertility of women aged 20-24 years for the first time.
- Fertility of women aged 20 to 29 years continued to decline. In 2004 women aged 25-29 years gave birth to 102.5 babies per 1,000 women, down from 102.9 babies per 1,000 women in 2003. Women aged 25-29 years continued to record the second highest fertility of all age groups.
- Fertility rates for 20-24 year olds decreased from 54.5 babies per 1,000 women in 2003 to 53.4 babies per 1,000 women in 2004.
- The Northern Territory recorded the highest TFR in 2004 (2.24 babies per woman) while the Australian Capital Territory recorded the lowest (1.64).
Total fertility rate(a), Australia
- In 2004 there were 254,200 births registered in Australia. This was an increase of 3,100 births on the number registered in 2003, and the highest since 1995.
- Queensland recorded the largest increase in births in 2004 (up 1,600 over the number registered in 2003) followed by Victoria (up 1,400) and Western Australia (up 1,000). Small increases were recorded in Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory, while there were fewer births in New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory.
INDIGENOUS BIRTHS AND FERTILITY
- There were 12,000 births registered in Australia during 2004 (5% of all births registered) where at least one parent was identified as Indigenous.
- Indigenous women had a higher TFR in 2004 (2.11 babies per woman) than all women (1.77 babies).
- High fertility at younger ages contributes to the relatively high fertility of Indigenous women. In 2004, women under 30 years of age accounted for almost three-quarters of the Indigenous total fertility rate, compared to half of the fertility rate for all women in Australia.