Fertility rate bounces back in 2021

Media Release

Australia registered 309,996 births in 2021, an increase of more than 15,600 on registered births in 2020 and lifting the total fertility rate (TFR) to 1.70 babies per woman following a record low in 2020 (1.59).

According to the latest Births data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today, women aged 30–34 years continued to have the highest fertility rate, followed by women aged 25–29 years.

Emily Walter, ABS Demography Director said: “From 1991 to 2021, the fertility rate of mothers aged 35–39 years doubled, and for mothers aged 40–44 years, it has nearly tripled. In contrast, births to teenage mothers have reached an all-time low, with 5,102 babies born to teenage mothers in 2021. Both of these factors contribute to the continuing rise in median age of mothers (now 31.7 years).”

The total fertility rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers was 2.3 babies per woman. In contrast to the total population, the fertility rate was highest among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers aged in their 20's. 

The Northern Territory recorded the highest fertility rate, with 1.82 babies born per woman in 2021.

Queensland closely followed with 1.79 babies per woman, while the Australian Capital Territory recorded the lowest, at 1.45 babies per woman.

Total fertility rate by state or territory of usual residence
New South Wales1.781.651.71
South Australia1.661.561.66
Western Australia1.751.671.74
Northern Territory1.821.791.77
Australian Capital Territory1.451.411.49
  1. Includes Other Territories. 

Media notes

  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via media@abs.gov.au (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
  • Subscribe to our media release notification service to get notified of ABS media releases or publications upon their release.
Back to top of the page