1304.5 - Stats Talk WA, Dec 2010  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/12/2010  Final
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Statistical News
Developments In ABS Statistics

Births and Fertility in WA

There were 30,900 births registered to women living in Western Australia in 2009, approximately 3% less than in 2008 (31,900). Of these births, there were 2,400 births (8% of all births) where at least one parent identified themselves as being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin on the birth registration form.

In 2009, the median age of Western Australian women who gave birth was 30.2 years, while the median age of fathers (where age was known) was 32.7 years. These were both slightly lower than the median ages recorded for Australia (30.6 years and 33.0 years respectively).

In Western Australia, 62% of births were to parents in a registered marriage. Of the births where the parents were in an exnuptial relationship, 10% were registered without acknowledgment from the father.

Western Australia’s total fertility rate (TFR) in 2009 was 1.96 babies per woman, a decrease from 2.10 babies per woman in 2008. Over the past decade, the TFR for Western Australia has followed a similar trend to the TFR for Australia. In 2009, the TFR for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in Western Australia decreased to 3.06 babies per woman, down from 3.16 babies per woman in 2008. However, as with most other states and territories, the TFR for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women remained higher than the TFR for all women.

Fertility rates differ across the reproductive age groups. Women in Western Australia aged 30–34 years experienced the highest fertility rate of all age groups in 2009, with 125 babies per 1,000 women, while the teenage fertility rate was 20 babies per 1,000 women aged 15–19 years.

More details on births in Australia, the states and territories, and regional data are available in Births, Australia, 2009 (cat. no. 3301.0).

Picture of a baby eating cake

New Edition of Australian Social Trends

The ABS released the latest edition of Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0) on 29 September 2010. The publication draws together a wide range of statistics from the ABS and other official sources to provide a picture of Australian society and how it is changing over time.

Some of the articles include:

Parental divorce or death during childhood. Compared with people whose parents did not divorce or separate, those who did, were less likely to finish school, more likely to enter a de facto relationship at a younger age, and of those who married, they were less likely to remain married.

The city and the bush: Indigenous wellbeing across Remoteness Areas.While there have been improvements in a range of indicators for Indigenous Australians in recent years, such as school completion rates and employment, inequalities remain evident between Remoteness Areas.

Older people and the labour market. Just over one-third of all people aged 55 years and over (or 1.9 million people) were in the labour force in 2009-10, with this participation rate increasing strongly over the past decade.

Australian workers: Educational and workplace training. The labour force is becoming increasingly skilled with 66% of workers having a non-school qualification in 2009, up from 59% in 2001. One third of people aged 25-34 had a bachelor degree or higher, making this group the most qualified.

Further information is available in the September edition of Australian Social Trends, 2010 (cat. no. 4102.0), available for free download from the ABS website, www.abs.gov.au.