ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
This publication brings together statistics for live births and fertility in Australia. Data refer to births registered during the calendar year shown, unless otherwise stated.
Populations used in the calculation of rates prior to 2006 are the final estimated resident population by age and sex based on results of the 2006 Census of Population and Housing (2006 Census) and earlier censuses. Fertility rates for 2007 use preliminary 30 June 2007 estimated resident population figures.
State or territory relates to the state or territory of usual residence, unless otherwise stated.
CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE
The content of this publication has been reviewed, with the aim of reducing duplication of data. Tables previously presented in the printed publication (in Adobe PDF format) have been removed and are now available in data cubes (in Microsoft Excel format) from the ABS website. For more information on available data cubes, see paragraph 52 of the Explanatory Notes.
Fertility rates from 2002 to 2006 have been revised using final estimated resident population data based on results of the 2006 Census.
Changes in ABS processing of data collected by state/territory Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages for 2007 have resulted in the availability of improved information on previous births to mothers. See paragraphs 41 to 44 of the Explanatory Notes for more information.
As indicated above, the data presented in this publication refer to births registered during the calendar year. In 2007, changes in processing of birth registrations in some states, particularly Queensland (see paragraph 29 of the Explanatory Notes), and amendments to the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999 requiring the registration of, or application for registration of, the birth of a child as a condition for applying for the Baby Bonus will have affected the data.
Calculations as shown in the commentary sections of this publication are based on unrounded figures. Calculations using rounded figures may differ from those published.
It is recommended that when using information presented in this publication, 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.
Where necessary, tables have had small values suppressed or randomised to protect confidentiality. As a result, sums of components may not add exactly to totals.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Anna Spierewka on Canberra (02) 6252 5995.
INCREASE IN FERTILITY
HIGHEST NUMBER OF BIRTHS REGISTERED
- Australia's total fertility rate (TFR) in 2007 was 1.93 babies per woman, the highest since 1981 (1.94).
- The increase in the TFR between 2006 and 2007 was largely due to births to women aged 25 to 34 years.
- Fertility rates increased for all age groups of women between 2006 and 2007.
- Women aged 30-34 years experienced the highest fertility of all age groups in 2007, with 126.6 babies per 1,000 women. This was the highest rate recorded for women aged 30-34 years since 1962.
- Women aged 25-29 years continued to record the second highest fertility of all age groups, with 106.5 babies per 1,000 women in 2007.
- Fertility of women aged 35-39 years increased to 68.1 babies per 1,000 women. This was the highest rate for women aged 35-39 years since 1950.
- Fertility of women aged 20-24 years increased to 55.8 babies per 1,000 women in 2007. This was the first increase for women aged 20-24 years since 1990.
- At the national level, teenage fertility was 16.0 babies per 1,000 women in 2007, slightly higher than in 2006 (15.3 babies per 1,000 women).
MEDIAN AGE OF PARENTS
- In 2007 there were 285,200 births registered in Australia, 19,300 (7.2%) more than in 2006. This was the highest number of births ever registered in Australia.
- The median age of all mothers of births registered in 2007 was 30.7 years, while the median age of all fathers was 33.1 years.
STATES AND TERRITORIES
- In 2007, 67% of births were to parents in a registered marriage, compared to 82% in 1987.
- The proportion of births to parents outside registered marriages has increased steadily since 1975. In 2007, 33% of all births registered were to parents who were not in a registered marriage.
- The proportion of births where the father has not acknowledged the birth (by not signing the birth registration form) has decreased from 5% in 1987 to 3% in 2007.
INDIGENOUS BIRTHS AND FERTILITY
- Total fertility rates for all states and territories increased in 2007.
- The Northern Territory (2.27 babies per woman) recorded the highest TFR in 2007, followed by Tasmania (2.19) and Queensland (2.09).
- Tasmania's TFR of 2.19 babies per woman was the highest since 1975.
- Queensland's TFR of 2.09 babies per woman was the highest since 1977.
- Victoria's TFR of 1.87 babies per woman was the highest since 1978.
- Women aged 30-34 years recorded the highest fertility of all age groups in all states and territories in 2007, with the exception of Tasmania and the Northern Territory, where women aged 25-29 years recorded the highest levels of fertility.
- The number of births registered in 2007 was higher than in 2006 for all states and territories, with Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales recording the largest increases.
PREVIOUS CHILDREN OF THE MOTHER
- There were 14,200 births registered in Australia during 2007 (5% of all births) where at least one parent identified themselves as being of Indigenous origin on the birth registration statement.
- In 2007 the TFR for Indigenous women increased to 2.4 babies per woman, from 2.1 babies per woman in 2006.
- Higher fertility at younger ages contributes to the relatively high fertility of Indigenous women. In 2007, women under 30 years of age accounted for 70% of the total fertility rate for Indigenous women, compared to 46% of the total fertility rate for all women in Australia.
- Changes in ABS processing of data collected by state/territory Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages for 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.
- Of the states and territories that collect data on all children born to a mother, the Australian Capital Territory recorded the highest proportion (45%) of first births of the mother (that is, no previous children), followed by Western Australia (44%).
- For mothers who registered a birth in 2007, the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia recorded the highest proportions (both 34%) of mothers who had one child previously.
- Around one-third (30%) of mothers who registered a birth in the Northern Territory in 2007 had two or more previous children.