3301.0 - Births, Australia, 2008 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/11/2009   
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November 11, 2009
Embargo: 11.30 am (AEDT)

Increase in births breaks records again: ABS

Australia has again set a new record for the number of births in a year, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

A total of 296,600 births were registered in 2008, surpassing the previous record years of 2007 (285,200 births) and 1971 (276,400).

Tasmania had the highest fertility rate, with 2.24 babies per woman, slightly higher than the Northern Territory (2.22), while the Australian Capital Territory had the lowest at 1.76.

Women in Tasmania and the Northern Territory were also having their children at younger ages; fertility rates were highest for women aged 25-29 years, for the rest of Australia it was highest for women aged 30-34 years.

Overall, Australia had a total fertility rate of 1.97 babies per woman, up from 1.92 in 2007 and the highest since 1977 (2.01).

Nearly half (43%) of all births in 2008 were to first time mothers, while a third (33%) were having their second child.

There were 15,000 births registered where at least one parent was an Indigenous Australian.

More details are available in Births, Australia, 2008 (cat. no. 3301.0) available for free download from the ABS website <www.abs.gov.au>. Regional, State and Territory information is also available on the website.

Media Note: The total fertility rate represents the average number of babies that a woman could expect to bear during her reproductive lifetime if current fertility rates continued.