3238.0 - Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2001 to 2026 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/04/2014   
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Contents >> Assumptions >> Fertility and paternity

FERTILITY AND PATERNITY

The ABS Births collection identifies a birth as being an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person where at least one parent identifies themselves as being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin on the birth registration statement provided to the relevant state or territory registrar. Therefore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births can be attributed to either:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers, including births where both the mother and father are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander; or
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander fathers and non-Indigenous mothers.

For simplicity, birth rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers are referred to in this release as
fertility rates
, while birth rates where the father is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and the mother's Indigenous status is non-Indigenous or not stated are referred to as paternity rates.

To produce population projections using the cohort-component method, assumptions for each year of the projection period are required for age-specific fertility rates, age-specific paternity rates and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sex ratio at birth (the ratio of male to female births, multiplied by 100).


Indigenous status of parents

Around one-third (30%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births registered in 2012 were births for which both parents identified themselves as being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin on the birth registration statement. For 42% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births, only the mother was of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin (including births where paternity was not acknowledged and those where the father's Indigenous status was not stated). The remaining 28% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births were recorded as having an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander father and a non-Indigenous mother (including births where the mother's Indigenous status was not stated).

2.2 Indigenous status of parents, Australia, 2001-2012
Graph: 2.2 Indigenous status of parents, Australia, 2001–2012


The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births attributed to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and/or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander fathers differs considerably between the states and territories. In 2012, the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births where both the mother and father were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ranged from 52% in the Northern Territory to 12% in Tasmania, while the proportion of births to non-Indigenous mothers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander fathers ranged from 9% in the Northern Territory to 39% in the Australian Capital Territory (graph 2.3).

2.3 Indigenous status of parents, States and territories, 2012
Graph: 2.3 Indigenous status of parents, States and territories, 2012



Sex ratio at birth

Population projections require an assumed sex ratio at birth in order to split total projected births into male and female births. The sex ratio for all births registered in Australia fluctuates around 105.6 male births per 100 female births. The sex ratio for all registered births was 106.0 for the year ended 30 June 2006 and 105.6 for the year ended 30 June 2012. While the sex ratio at birth for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births can be more volatile (graph 2.4), a constant ratio of 105.6 male births per 100 female births has been assumed for the duration of the projection period.

2.4 Sex ratio(a), Australia, 2006-2012
Graph: 2.4 Sex ratio(a), Australia, 2006–2012






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