4125.0 - Gender Indicators, Australia, Jan 2013  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/05/2013   
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10 May 2013
Embargoed: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

Aussie mums by numbers

Happy Mother's Day Australia!

To help celebrate this Mother's Day the Australian Bureau of Statistics has put together some interesting statistics on Australian mothers.
  • The median age of mothers who registered a birth in 2011 was 30.6 years, up from 30.0 years in 2001.
  • 2011 was the first time birth registrations in Australia exceeded 300,000 (301,617 in 2011).
  • In 2011, women could expect to have 1.9 children in their lifetime.
  • The number of pregnancies resulting in multiple births has increased consistently since the 1970s. In 2011, 4,560 pregnancies resulted in multiple births being registered. Of these, 62 were triplets or higher order multiples.
  • In 2011, 357,500 women had a job while pregnant, of which 151,200 (or 42 per cent) were employees entitled to paid maternity leave. Of those entitled, 87 per cent took paid maternity leave either on full pay, half pay or a combination of both full pay and half pay for the birth of their child.
  • A higher proportion of mothers whose youngest child was aged 5 years and under are employed now than in 2006-07. In 2011-12, 53 per cent of women whose youngest child was aged 5 years and under were employed, compared to 50 per cent in 2006-07.
  • When their youngest child was aged 6-14 years, the proportion of mothers who were employed increased to 75 per cent in 2011-12.
  • In 2011-12, 65 per cent of employed mothers with children aged 5 years and under worked part time. This decreased to 55 per cent when the youngest child was aged 6-14 years.
  • In 2011, 86 per cent of mothers who returned to work after the birth of their child used at least one flexible work arrangement to assist with the care of their child - most commonly working part time (76 per cent), using flexible working hours (40 per cent) and working from home (30 per cent).
  • Grandparents were relied upon by 27 per cent of mothers as their main type of child care when they started or returned to work after the birth of their child in 2011.

To find out more about mothers see the ABS online products: Gender Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 4125.0), Births, Australia, 2011 (cat. no 3301.0), and Pregnancy and Employment Transitions, Australia, Nov 2011 (cat. no. 4913.0).

Media note:
When reporting ABS data the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.