Births, Australia

Latest release

Statistics about births and fertility rates for Australia, states and territories, and sub-state regions

Reference period
2020

Key statistics

  • There were 294,369 registered births in 2020, a decrease of 3.7% from 2019.
  • For all Australian women, the total fertility rate was 1.58 births per woman.
  • For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, the total fertility rate was 2.25 births per woman.
Summary statistics
   201020192020(a)
Births     
 Malesno.155,591157,476150,943
 Femalesno.147,727148,356143,426
 Personsno.303,318305,832294,369
 Sex ratioratio105.3106.1105.2
 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Personsno.17,41421,92522,016
Fertility     
 Total fertility raterate1.9541.6571.581
 Total fertility rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women(b)(c)rate2.3522.3162.247
 Crude birth raterate13.812.111.5
 Net reproduction raterate0.9390.7970.764

a. Data for 2020 show a decline of 11,463 births compared with the number of births registered in 2019. Further information can be found under Data quality, Methodology. 
b. Care should be taken when interpreting data, due to changes over time in the completeness and coverage of responses by the parent(s) to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander question on the birth registration form.
c. Fertility rates for 2019 and 2020 are calculated using 2016 Census-based population projections issued on 22 July 2021.

The total fertility rate is the number of births per woman.

The crude birth rate is the number of births per 1,000 estimated resident population.

The net reproduction rate is the average number of daughters surviving to reproductive age per woman.

The sex ratio is male to female births.

National

Births registered

There were 294,369 births in 2020, decreasing by 3.7% (or 11,463 births) from 2019:

  • 51.3% were males, resulting in a sex ratio at birth of 105.2 male births per 100 female births
  • 63.5% were to parents in a registered marriage.

a. Data for 2020 show a decline of 11,363 births compared with the number of births registered in 2019.  Further information can be found under Data quality, Methodology. 

Median age of parents

For births registered in 2020, the median age of: 

  • mothers was 31.6 years
  • fathers was 33.6 years.
  1. Not available for 1974 and earlier years.

Multiple births

Some pregnancies result in the birth of two or more children, at least one of which is live-born.

  • 1.4% (or 4,202) of pregnancies resulted in multiple births, remaining relatively consistent over the past decade.
  • 54 of these pregnancies were triplets or higher order.

Total fertility rate

The total fertility rate required for replacement is currently considered to be around 2.1 babies per woman to replace herself and her partner.

Australia's total fertility rate: 

  • was 1.58 babies per woman in 2020, decreasing from 1.95 babies per woman since 2010 
  • has been below replacement since 1976.

a. Data for 2020 show a decline of 11,463 births compared with the number of births registered in 2019. Further information can be found under Data quality, Methodology.  

Age-specific fertility rate

In recent decades, the average age of mothers has been increasing.

  • All age groups showed a decline in fertility rate from 2019.

  • Women aged 30-34 years had the highest fertility rate at 110.0 babies per 1,000 women, similar to 110.2 babies in 2000.

  • Women aged 15-19 years had the lowest fertility rate at 7.8 babies per 1,000 women, declining from 17.8 babies in 2000.

States and territories

Births registered

  • The largest contributors to the decrease in registered births were New South Wales (-3,330 births) and Victoria (-3,846 births) from 2019.
  • Northern Territory had the largest increase in the number of births since 2019 (103 births).
Births registered by state and territory
State or territory   Change fromChange from
of registration201920202019-20(no.)2019-20(%)
New South Wales96,90993,579-3,330-3.4
Victoria78,46374,617-3,846-4.9
Queensland61,79559,516-2,279-3.7
South Australia19,52618,574-952-4.9
Western Australia33,51032,420-1,090-3.3
Tasmania5,7165,774581.0
Northern Territory3,6133,7161032.9
Australian Capital Territory6,3006,173-127-2.0
Australia(a)305,832294,369-11,463-3.7

a. Data for 2020 show a decline of 11,463 births compared with the number of births registered in 2019. Further information can be found under Data quality, Methodology.

Median age of parents

The oldest median ages for mothers and fathers were in:

  • the Australian Capital Territory (32.4 years for mothers and 34.3 years for fathers)
  • Victoria (32.2 years for mothers and 34.1 years for fathers).

The youngest median age for mothers was in:

  • Northern Territory (30.3 years)

  • Tasmania (30.4 years).

The youngest median age for fathers was in:

  • Tasmania (32.3 years)

  • Northern Territory and Queensland (32.7 years each).

Multiple births

  • In 2020, there were 4,202 confinements resulting in a multiple birth. Of these, 4,148 were twins and 54 were triplets and higher order births.
  • Pregnancies in the Victoria and South Australia had higher proportions of multiple births (each 1.5%) than any other state or territory.
Multiple births by state and territory(a)
State or territory   Triplets andTotalTotal
of usual residenceSingleTwinshigher ordermultiple birthsconfinements
New South Wales92,7621,341191,36094,122
Victoria71,4251,062141,07672,501
Queensland57,847827983658,683
South Australia17,995264426718,262
Western Australia31,501455846331,964
Tasmania5,622813825,704
Northern Territory3,651510513,702
Australian Capital Territory5,242670675,309
Australia(b)286,0704,148544,202290,272

a. Where necessary, small values have been suppressed or randomised to protect confidentiality. As a result, sums of components may not add exactly to totals.
b. Includes Other Territories.

Total fertility rate

  • The Northern Territory recorded the highest total fertility rate (1.86 babies per woman), followed by Tasmania (1.77 babies per woman).
  • Victoria recorded the lowest total fertility rate (1.43 babies per woman).
  1. Data for 2020 show a decline of 11,463 births compared with the number of births registered in 2019. Further information can be found under Data quality, Methodology.

Net reproduction rate

The net reproduction rate is the average number of daughters surviving to reproductive age per woman.

  • Victoria had the lowest net reproduction rate (0.691).
  • The Northern Territory had the highest net reproduction rate (0.874).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Births registered

There were 22,016 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births registered, an increase of 91 babies from 2019. This represents 7.5% of all births registered in 2020. 

  • New South Wales and Queensland recorded the highest number of births (7,482 and 6,445).
  • The Australian Capital Territory recorded the lowest number of births (292).
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births, year of registration
State or territory of registration20132014201520162017201820192020
New South Wales(a)5,8014,9315,9115,5775,9057,3397,1287,482
Victoria1,5021,4621,3701,6401,8371,8641,8661,847
Queensland(b)5,2055,3945,2485,4566,6156,4056,8826,445
South Australia9409259499521,0161,0681,0601,025
Western Australia2,7342,7952,9852,7502,7732,7042,6812,813
Tasmania526545515585612578619680
Northern Territory(c)1,4451,4861,3651,3731,4021,7111,3831,432
Australian Capital Territory215241194227240259306292
Australia18,36817,77918,53718,56020,40021,92821,92522,016

a. Some of the increases in 2018 and 2019 were due to a catch-up in registration processing lags. 
b. Some of the increases from 2017 were due to catch-up in registration processing lags while some of the increases in 2018 and 2019 were due to active engagement programs by the Queensland registry to improve under registration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births.
c. Some of the increases in 2018 were due to a catch-up in processing lags. 

Median age of parents

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women give birth at young ages.

  • Almost three-quarters (71.1%) were registered to women under 30 years of age.
  • This compared with 38.1% of births of all Australian women of the same age.

Of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders that registered a birth in 2020, the median age of: 

  • women was 26.3 years, around six years younger than the median age of all mothers (31.6 years)
  • men was 28.5 years, around five years younger than the median age of all fathers (33.6 years).

Total fertility rate

The total fertility rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women was:

  • 2.25 babies per woman
  • higher than for all Australian women (1.58).

Age-specific fertility rate

The fertility rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women:

  • aged 15-19 years was five and a half times the teenage fertility rate for all women (42.5 compared with 7.8 births per 1,000 women)
  • aged 20-24 years was three times the fertility rate for all women of the same age (119.3 compared with 37.5 birth per 1,000 women).

Conversely, the fertility rate for all women aged 40-44 years was 1.2 times the fertility rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women of the same age (15.2 and 12.8).

Data downloads

Births data cubes and Data Explorer datasets are by state or territory of usual residence. 

Table 1: Births, summary, Statistical Areas level 4 - 2010 to 2020

Table 2: Births, summary, Statistical Areas level 2 - 2010 to 2020

Table 3: Births, summary, Local Government Areas - 2010 to 2020

Table 4: Births, summary, Remoteness Areas - 2010 to 2020

Table 5: Births, summary, Remoteness Areas, Indigenous status - 2011 to 2020

Table 6: Births, country of birth of parent, Australia - 2020

Data Explorer datasets

Caution: Data in the Data Explorer is currently released after the 11:30am release on the ABS website. Please check the time period when using Data Explorer.

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 3301.0

Post release changes

12/01/2022 - New link created for Data Explorer dataset 'Fertility, by age, by state of usual residence'.

Back to top of the page