3301.0 - Births, Australia, 2009 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/11/2010   
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Contents >> Summary of findings >> Nuptial and ex-nuptial births


In 2009, 65% of births were nuptial births; that is, births to parents who were married at the time of the birth (marriage in this publication refers to a registered marriage unless otherwise indicated). Ex-nuptial births accounted for the remaining 35% of births, although many of these births may have been to mothers in de facto relationships. The proportion of ex-nuptial births has been increasing since the 1950s, and has risen strongly over the past three decades.

2.5 Ex-nuptial births, Proportion of all births, Australia - 1909 to 2009
Graph: 2.5 Ex-nuptial births, Proportion of all births, Australia—1909 to 2009

Acknowledgment of paternity

When a birth is ex-nuptial, there is a possibility that the father may not acknowledge the birth (that is, the father has not signed the birth registration statement). While the number of ex-nuptial births has increased greatly over the past twenty years, the proportion of births for which paternity was not acknowledged has decreased. In 1989, paternity was not acknowledged for around 24% of all ex-nuptial births, however by 2009 this proportion had decreased to 10%. Births where paternity is not acknowledged have decreased from 5% of all births in 1989 to 3% in 2009.

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