3106.0 - Demography News, Dec 1999  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/12/1999   
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Changes in fertility

In 1998 the average number of births per woman was 1.76, well below 2.1, the level needed for a woman to replace herself and her partner. Australia's fertility has been below replacement level since 1976. Currently, it is lower than that of the United States of America (2.0) and New Zealand (2.0), at much the same level as in the United Kingdom (1.7), and above the levels of Canada (1.5), Germany (1.3), Italy (1.2) and Spain (1.1).

The peak age of fertility is 25-29 years but the birthrate in this age group is declining relatively quickly. In contrast, birthrates of women aged 35 years and over continued their upward trend and in 1998 these women contributed 15% to total fertility, compared to 10% in 1988.

For more detail see Births, Australia 1998 (Cat. No. 3301.0).