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3301.0 - Births, Australia, 2013 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/10/2014   
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MEDIA RELEASE
23 October 2014
Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)
148/2014

Australia's birth rate falls, but older mothers buck the trend

Australia's birth rate has continued to fall, reaching its lowest point since 2006 according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

"We saw a total of 308,100 births in 2013, which is down on the 309,600 from the previous year," said Denise Carlton from the ABS.

"This fall in births - along with an increase in the number of women aged 15 to 49 years - contributed to Australia's total fertility rate falling from 1.93 in 2012 to 1.88 in 2013.

"But the trend among older mothers - those aged between 40 and 44 years - was reversed, and their fertility rate has continued to increase since its lowest point in the mid-1970s.

"Over the past 30 years, fertility rates for these older mums have nearly tripled, and today's results see the trend continuing", said Ms Carlton.

Across the states and territories, the Northern Territory again had the highest fertility rate at 2.12 babies per woman, while Victoria had the lowest at 1.76.

The total fertility rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers also decreased to 2.34 in 2013, the lowest rate since 2006.

In 2013, 18,400 births (6% of total births) were registered where at least one parent was an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australian.

More details can be found in Births, Australia, 2013 (cat. no. 3301.0). State, territory and sub-state information is also available for free download from the ABS website (www.abs.gov.au).

Media notes:

  • Population fertility rates measure a community's actual reproductive outcomes - a concept of adding to the population through live births. Still births are not added to the population and therefore are not counted in this context, however, are reported in Perinatal Deaths, Australia (cat. no. 3304.0).
  • The total fertility rate represents the average number of babies that a woman could expect to bear if current fertility rates prevail throughout her reproductive lifetime.
  • Please ensure when reporting on ABS data that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) as the source.

BIRTHS, SUMMARY STATISTICS

2003
2012
2013
Change (%) 2003–2013
Change (%) 2012–2013

Australia(a)
Births (no.)
251 161
309 582
308 065
22.7
-0.5
Total fertility rate(b)
1.765
1.930
1.882
Median age of mother (years)
30.5
30.7
30.8
Median age of father (years)
32.6
33.0
33.0
New South Wales
Births (no.)
86 344
98 508
100 462
16.4
2.0
Total fertility rate(b)
1.806
1.930
1.940
Median age of mother (years)
30.5
30.9
31.0
Median age of father (years)
32.8
33.3
33.3
Victoria
Births (no.)
61 058
77 405
73 969
21.1
-4.4
Total fertility rate(b)
1.680
1.888
1.765
Median age of mother (years)
31.2
31.3
31.5
Median age of father (years)
33.1
33.5
33.6
Queensland
Births (no.)
48 342
63 837
63 354
31.1
-0.8
Total fertility rate(b)
1.804
1.995
1.940
Median age of mother (years)
29.7
29.8
29.9
Median age of father (years)
31.9
32.0
32.1
South Australia
Births (no.)
17 443
20 433
20 090
15.2
-1.7
Total fertility rate(b)
1.721
1.898
1.848
Median age of mother (years)
30.6
30.3
30.4
Median age of father (years)
32.8
32.6
32.6
Western Australia
Births (no.)
24 273
33 627
34 516
42.2
2.6
Total fertility rate(b)
1.744
1.909
1.870
Median age of mother (years)
30.2
30.3
30.4
Median age of father (years)
32.4
32.7
32.7
Tasmania
Births (no.)
5 752
6 168
6 049
5.2
-1.9
Total fertility rate(b)
1.885
2.036
2.013
Median age of mother (years)
29.3
29.5
29.4
Median age of father (years)
31.8
31.8
31.7
Northern Territory
Births (no.)
3 790
4 104
4 053
6.9
-1.2
Total fertility rate(b)
2.299
2.196
2.117
Median age of mother (years)
28.2
28.6
29.0
Median age of father (years)
31.7
31.4
31.6
Australian Capital Territory
Births (no.)
4 128
5 461
5 545
34.3
1.5
Total fertility rate(b)
1.572
1.791
1.784
Median age of mother (years)
31.0
31.3
31.6
Median age of father (years)
32.9
33.4
33.8

(a) Includes Other Territories
(b) Babies per woman. 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 continue.

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