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Births, Australia

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

Reference period
2019

Key statistics

  • There were 305,832 registered births in 2019, a decrease of 3.0% from 2018
  • For all Australian women, the total fertility rate was 1.66 births per woman
  • For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, the total fertility rate was 2.32 births per woman

The reference period for the statistics precedes COVID-19.

Summary statistics
   200920182019(a)
Births     
 Malesno.154,875162,088157,476
 Femalesno.146,378153,059148,356
 Personsno.301,253315,147305,832
 Sex ratioratio105.8105.9106.1
 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Persons(b)no.16,91221,92821,925
Fertility     
 Total fertility rate(c)rate1.9701.7401.657
 Total fertility rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women(b)(c)(d)rate2.4332.3712.316
 Crude birth rate(e)rate13.912.612.1
 Net reproduction rate(f)rate0.9400.8380.797

a. Data for 2019 shows a decline of 9,315 births compared with the number of births registered in 2018. New South Wales recorded the largest decline (-8,554 births or -8.1%). In 2018, New South Wales addressed their backlog of registrations, and as a result, birth registrations for 2018 were highest on record. Registrations for 2019 returned to be more in line with recent levels. Further information can be found in 'New South Wales birth registrations' 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. Births per woman.
d. Fertility rates for 2018 and 2019 are calculated using 2016 Census-based population projections.
e. Births per 1,000 estimated resident population.
f. Net reproduction rate is the average number of daughters surviving to reproductive age per woman.
 

National

Births registered

  • There were 305,832 births in 2019, decreasing by 3.0% (or 9,315 births) from 2018
  • 51.5% were males, resulting in a sex ratio at birth of 106.1 male births per 100 female births
  • 64.4% were to parents in a registered marriage
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a. Data for 2019 shows a decline of 9,315 births compared with the number of births registered in 2018. New South Wales recorded the largest decline (-8,554 births or -8.1%). In 2018, New South Wales addressed their backlog of registrations, and as a result, birth registrations for 2018 were highest on record. Registrations for 2019 returned to be more in line with recent levels. Further information can be found in 'New South Wales birth registrations' under Data quality, Methodology. 

Median age of parents

For births registered in 2019, the median age of: 

  • mothers was 31.5 years
  • fathers was 33.5 years 
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  1. Not available for 1974 and earlier years.

Multiple births

A multiple birth is a pregnancy which results in two or more children, at least one of which is live-born.

  • 1.5% (or 4,501) of pregnancies resulted in a multiple birth, remaining relatively consistent over the past decade
  • 55 of these pregnancies were triplets or higher order

Although there was a decrease in the number of total pregnancies, there was one less multiple birth in 2019 than in 2018.

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 1.66 babies per woman in 2019, decreasing from 1.97 babies per woman since 2009 
  • has been below replacement since 1976
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a. Data for 2019 shows a decline of 9,315 births compared with the number of births registered in 2018. New South Wales recorded the largest decline (-8,554 births or -8.1%). In 2018, New South Wales addressed their backlog of registrations, and as a result, birth registrations for 2018 were highest on record. Registrations for 2019 returned to be more in line with recent levels. Further information can be found in 'New South Wales birth registrations' under Data quality, Methodology.  

Age-specific fertility rate

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

  • All age groups except for 45-49 years showed a decline in fertility rate from 2018

  • Women aged 30-34 years had the highest fertility rate at 114.9 babies per 1,000 women, increasing from 108.6 babies in 1999

  • Women aged 15-19 years had the lowest fertility rate at 8.7 babies per 1,000 women, declining from 18.6 babies in 1999

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States and territories

Births registered

  • New South Wales recorded the largest decrease in registered births (-8,554 births or -8.1%) after a catch-up in registration processing lags in 2018
  • Victoria recorded a decrease of 1,212 births (or -1.5%) from 2018
  • South Australia had the largest increase in the number of births since 2018 (372 births or 1.9%)
Births registered by state and territory
   Change fromChange from
 20182019(a)2018 to 2019 (no.)2018 to 2019 (%)
New South Wales(a)105,46396,909-8,554-8.1
Victoria79,67578,463-1,212-1.5
Queensland61,95661,795-161-0.3
South Australia19,15419,5263721.9
Western Australia33,21133,5102990.9
Tasmania5,5255,7161913.5
Northern Territory4,0513,613-438-10.8
Australian Capital Territory6,1126,3001883.1
Australia315,147305,832-9,315-3

a. Data for 2019 shows a decline of 9,315 births compared with the number of births registered in 2018. New South Wales recorded the largest decline (-8,554 births or -8.1%). New South Wales addressed their backlog of registrations, and as a result, birth registrations for 2018 were highest on record. Registrations for 2019 returned to be more in line with recent levels. Further information can be found in 'New South Wales birth registrations' under Data quality, Methodology.
 

Median age of parents

The oldest median ages for mothers and fathers were in:

  • the Australian Capital Territory (32.2 years for mothers and 34.1 years for fathers)
  • Victoria (32.1 years for mothers and 34.0 years for fathers)

The youngest median age for mothers was in:

  • the Northern Territory (29.8 years)
  • Tasmania (30.3 years)

The youngest median age for fathers was in:

  • Tasmania (32.2 years)
  • the Northern Territory (32.3 years)

Multiple births

  • In 2019, there were 4,501 confinements resulting in a multiple birth. Of these, 4,446 were twins and 55 were triplets and higher order births
  • Pregnancies in the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory had higher proportions of multiple births (each 1.6%) than any other state or territory
Multiple births by state and territory(a)
   Triplets andTotalTotal
 SingleTwinshigher ordermultiple birthsconfinements
New South Wales96,0031,450211,47197,474
Victoria74,9621,137121,14976,111
Queensland60,0078661087660,883
South Australia18,917286428919,206
Western Australia32,578482548733,065
Tasmania5,571843875,658
Northern Territory3,545570573,602
Australian Capital Territory5,357844855,442
Australia(b)296,9634,446554,501301,464

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 (1.84 babies per woman), followed by Tasmania (1.79 babies per woman)
  • Victoria recorded the lowest total fertility rate (1.53 babies per woman)
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  1. Data for 2019 shows a decline of 9,315 births compared with the number of births registered in 2018. New South Wales recorded the largest decline (-8,554 births or -8.1%). In 2018, New South Wales addressed their backlog of registrations, and as a result, birth registrations for 2018 were highest on record. Registrations for 2019 returned to be more in line with recent levels. Further information can be found in 'New South Wales birth registrations' under Data quality, Methodology. 
  2. Includes Other Territories.

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 (0.736)
  • the Northern Territory had the highest net reproduction rate (0.866)
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Births registered

There were 21,925 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births registered, with little change (3 babies less) from 2018. This represents 7.2% of all births registered in 2019. 

  • New South Wales and Queensland recorded the highest number of births (7,128 and 6,882)
  • The Australian Capital Territory recorded the lowest number of births (306)
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births, year of registration
 20122013201420152016201720182019
New South Wales(a)5,3535,8014,9315,9115,5775,9057,3397,128
Victoria1,4381,5021,4621,3701,6401,8371,8641,866
Queensland(b)5,6485,2055,3945,2485,4566,6156,4056,882
South Australia8689409259499521,0161,0681,060
Western Australia2,6522,7342,7952,9852,7502,7732,7042,681
Tasmania536526545515585612578619
Northern Territory(c)1,5881,4451,4861,3651,3731,4021,7111,383
Australian Capital Territory212215241194227240259306
Australia18,29518,36817,77918,53718,56020,40021,92821,925

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 (71.4%) were registered to women under 30 years of age
  • This compared with 39.2% of births of all Australian women of the same age

Of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders that registered a birth in 2019, the median age of: 

  • women was 26.0 years, around six years younger than the median age of all mothers (31.5 years)
  • men was 28.3 years, around five years younger than the median age of all fathers (33.5 years)

Total fertility rate

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

  • 2.32 babies per woman
  • higher than for all Australian women (1.66)

Age-specific fertility rate

The fertility rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women:

  • aged 15-19 years was five times the teenage fertility rate for all women (45.1 compared with 8.7 births per 1,000 women)
  • aged 20-24 years was three times the fertility rate for all women of the same age (126.9 compared with 39.7 birth per 1,000 women )

Conversely, the fertility rate for all women aged 40-44 years was one and a half times the fertility rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women of the same age (15.6 and 11.6).

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Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 3301.0

Data downloads

Table 1: Births, summary, Statistical Areas level 4 - 2012 to 2019

Table 2: Births, summary, Statistical Areas level 2 - 2012 to 2019

Table 3: Births, summary, Local Government Areas - 2012 to 2019

Table 4: Births, summary, Remoteness Areas - 2012 to 2019

Table 5: Births, summary, Remoteness Areas, Indigenous status - 2011 to 2019

Table 6: Births, country of birth of parent, Australia - 2019

All data cubes