3301.0 - Births, Australia, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/10/2007   
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October 29, 2007
Embargoed 11.30 am (AEDT)
Fertility statistics for 2006 now available: ABS

Australia's total fertility rate increased to 1.81 babies per woman in 2006, up from 1.79 in 2005, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

The increase can be largely attributed to a higher number of births for women aged 30 to 39 years.

There were 265,900 births registered in Australia in 2006. This is the second highest number of births ever (the highest was in 1971 - 276,400 births).

The median age of all mothers who gave birth in 2006 was 30.8 years, while fathers had a median age of 33.1 years. Both of these are the highest median ages on record.

Over recent years the total fertility rate has increased for most States and Territories. Tasmania's total fertility rate in 2006 was 2.12 babies per woman, the highest for this State since 1975. Western Australia's total fertility rate was 1.94 babies, the highest since 1988.

Women aged 30-34 years had the highest fertility rate in all States and Territories with the exception of Tasmania and the Northern Territory where it was women aged 25-29.

There were 12,500 births registered in Australia during 2006 where at least one parent was identified as Indigenous.

More details are in Births, Australia 2006 (cat. no. 3301.0) available free from the ABS website <www.abs.gov.au>. Regional, State and Territory information is also available on the website.

Media note:
The total fertility rate represents the average number of babies that a woman could expect to bear during her reproductive lifetime if current fertility rates continued.