Births in Australia
Number of births and fertility rate
Australia's total fertility rate has changed in significant ways over the last century.
- in 2012, the fertility rate in Australia was 1.93
- Australia's peak fertility rate was recorded in 1961 at 3.55
- since 1961, the fertility rate has steadily declined and has been below replacement levels since 1976
- the lowest fertility rate was recorded in 2001 at 1.74. It has gradually increased since then.
Age-specific fertility rate
There has been signficant change in age-specific fertility rates over the last century:
- the fertility rates of those aged in their 30s have mostly increased since the early 1980s
- From the 1950s to mid 1970s, the fertility rates of women aged 20-24 and 25-29 were markedly higher than that of all other groups
- Since 2000, the fertility rate of women in their early 30s has been higher than all other groups
Age of new mothers
In analysing data on the age of new mothers in 1991, 2001 and 2011, the statistics show that:
- in 1991, women most commonly had their first child in their 20s
- in 2001 and 2011, the late 20s and early 30s were the most common age for becoming a mother (59% in 2001 and 60.5% in 2011)
- the percentage of women having their first child over the age of 30 has risen from 23% in 1991 to 43% in 2011
Since the 1970s, ex-nuptial births have increased considerably:
- in 1971 only 7.4% of births were ex-nuptial, compared to 34.5% in 2012
- the rate of ex-nuptial births has stayed relatively the same since 2008.