AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Public Interest Disclosure Strategic Directions 2011-2014 Tenders
By category Ageing, disability & carers Families & children Hospitals Housing & homelessness Indigenous Australians Population groups Risk factors, diseases & death Services, workforce & spending
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions COPD Deaths Dementia Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Data Publications Contact AIHW
Publications CatalogueOrdering publicationsForthcoming publicationsOnline reportsRate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases Chronic kidney disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Corporate publications Data linkage Data standards Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health services Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR—metadata online registry Data by subject Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Customised data analysis request Data governance framework Data linking Data standards GovHack Privacy of data Accessing Australian Government health and welfare data
By subject Adoptions Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators (CHI) Chronic disease indicators Data sources for monitoring health conditionsDeaths Disability
Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General practice (GP) data Height and weight data sources Hospitals Indigenous Australians International collaboration Maternity Information Matrix (MIM) Medical indemnity
Mental health National Aged Care Data Clearinghouse National core maternity indicators (NCMI) National indicator catalogue Perinatal data Risk factors statistics Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee AODTS NMDS WG CKDMAC CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC HHIMG
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISSC NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NMHPSC NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets Infographics What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Worksheets by subject All Latest Ageing Australia's health Australia's welfare Carers
Children & youth Disability Disease Drugs
Health Health prevention Indigenous Australians Injury
In other sections Subjects Data Publications Contact AIHW
Job vacancies How to apply for a position at the AIHW Conditions of employment Benefits of working for the AIHW Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
Australian women continue to wait longer to have children, with the average maternal age reaching 30.0 years in 2009, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, Australia’s mothers and babies 2009, shows that the average age of women who gave birth in Australia has increased steadily from 29.0 years in 2000 to reach 30.0 years in 2009.
‘The proportion of mothers aged 35 and over also continues to rise—up from 17.1% in 2000 to 22.8% in 2009,’ said AIHW National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit spokesperson Associate Professor Elizabeth Sullivan.
‘And mothers aged 40 and over made up 4.0% of women giving birth in 2009 compared with 2.6% in 2000, while mothers aged 45 and over continued to make up about 0.2% of all women giving birth with 556 women aged 45 and over giving birth in 2009.
The number of first-time mothers aged over 35 also increased—from 10.3% in 2000 to 13.7% in 2009.
Indigenous mothers are younger than non-Indigenous mothers—their average age was 25.3.
Nationally, the proportion of teenage mothers remained steady at 4.0% in 2009 compared with 4.2% in 2008, which was less than the 5.0% proportion in 2000.
The report shows that 294,540 women gave birth to 299,220 babies in Australia in 2009—a 0.8% increase in the total number of births compared to the previous year and a 16.3% increase on the total number in 2000. The number of births has been increasing since 2001, when the lowest number of births during the past decade was reported.
Overall, 6.2% of liveborn babies were of low birthweight (less than 2,500 grams) and this nearly doubled (10.8%) among mothers who smoked during pregnancy.
Smoking while pregnant was reported by 14.5% of all mothers, by 37.0% of teenage mothers and almost half (49.6%) of Indigenous mothers.
In 2009, 863 women had a homebirth, representing 0.3% of all women who gave birth.
In the four jurisdictions where data on assisted reproductive technology (ART) or IVF were available (Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory), 3.6% of women who gave birth received ART treatment.
The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia’s health and welfare.
Canberra, 21 December 2011
Further information: Associate Professor Elizabeth Sullivan, AIHW NPESU, tel. (02) 9382 1064, mob. 0439 994 820
For media copies of the report: Publications Officer 02 6244 1032
Full report: Australia’s mothers and babies 2009