Fertility and family policy in Australia

Fertility and family policy in Australia

Matthew Gray, Lixia Qu and Ruth Weston

Research Paper No. 41 — February 2008
Fertility and family policy in Australia

Australia's fertility rate is below the level required for population replacement, despite government initiatives and public views. This paper provides an overview of fertility trends and their potential implications for Australia, as well as key current government policies and schemes designed to increase the fertility rate. Some international comparisons are included. The paper also presents findings from the Fertility Decision Making Project, a 2004 survey which explored the factors that individuals report as affecting their fertility decisions, such as financial constraints and preferred family size. The paper concludes that a range of policy approaches are required in order to raise fertility levels.   

Authors and Acknowledgements

Matthew Gray is Deputy Director (Research), Lixia Qu is a Research Fellow, and Ruth Weston is a General Manager (Research) at the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), Australia.

The authors have all made an equal contribution to this paper. A previous version of this paper was presented to the policy forum Facing the Future: Policy Challenges in the Ageing Era, Seoul, Korea, 13-14 September 2006. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and should not be taken to reflect the views of the Australian Institute of Family Studies or the Australian Government. The authors are grateful to David Stanton and Peter McDonald for providing comments on an earlier version of this paper. Expert editing was provided by Lan Wang and Jennifer Libeaut.

Publication details

Research Paper
No. 41
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, February 2008.
42 pp.
Suggested citation:

Gray, M., Qu, L, & Weston, R. (2008). Fertility and family policy in Australia (Research Paper No. 41). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

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