3106.0 - Demography News, Jan 2004  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/02/2004   
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In 2002 the median age of all women giving birth was 30.2 years, the highest on record, while the median age of fathers was 32.5 years.

There were 251,000 births registered in Australia during 2002. This was 4,600 births (1.9%) more than 2001 and the highest since 1997. The total fertility rate was 1.75 babies per woman. This rate has been relatively stable since 1998, ranging between 1.73 and 1.76 babies per woman, and remained lower than that of the United States of America (2.1 babies per woman) and New Zealand (2.0), but higher than that of the United Kingdom (1.6), Japan (1.3) and many European countries such as Germany (1.4), Greece (1.3) and Italy (1.2).

Women aged 30-34 years experienced the highest age-specific fertility rate in 2002, with 111 babies per 1,000 women. Fertility of 20-24 year old women has continued to decline, with rates almost halving over the past two decades, from 104 babies per 1,000 women in 1982 to 56 babies per 1,000 women in 2002. Fertility of women aged 25-29 years has also decreased considerably, from 145 babies per 1,000 women in 1982 to 104 babies per 1,000 women in 2002.

The Births, Australia, 2002 (cat. no. 3301.0) publication was released on 18 November 2003.

For more information please contact Matthew Montgomery on (02) 6252 6487 or