AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Conferences & events Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation 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 subjectAdoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions Deaths 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 publicationsRate 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 Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Health priority areas Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Juvenile justice Life expectancy Male health Mental health Mothers & babies 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 catalogue Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Data integration Data standards Privacy of data
By subject Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Burden of disease Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators
Chronic disease indicators Deaths Disability eHealth Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General practice (GP) data Hospitals
Height and weight data sources Indigenous Australians International collaboration Medical indemnity Mental health National indicator catalogue Risk factors statistics Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee CKDMAC AODTS NMDS WG CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC HHIMG
JJ RIG MHISS MyHospitals NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG
NMDD NMDS NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets 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 Indigenous temporary employment register Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Subscribe to employment notices Graduate Program
Conferences & events Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
The average age of first time mothers continues to rise, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, Australia's mothers and babies 2010, shows that in 2010, the average age of women having their first baby was 28 years, up slightly from 27.9 the previous year, and 27.5 in 2001.
'Of all first time mothers in 2010, about 14% were aged 35 or older, compared with 11% in 2001,' said Professor Elizabeth Sullivan from the AIHW's National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit.
The average age of all mothers in 2010 was 30.0 years, compared with 29.2 in 2001. This was higher in women who gave birth in Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory (30.7 and 30.9 years respectively) and lower in the Northern Territory (27.9).
'The proportion of older mothers, aged 35 and over, has continued to increase from 17.5% in 2001 to 23% in 2010, while mothers aged 40 and over made up about 4% of women giving birth in 2010,' Professor Sullivan said.
There were 562 women aged 45 and over who gave birth in 2010, accounting for 0.2% of women who gave birth.
In 2010, 294,814 women gave birth to 299,563 babies, which was a 0.1% increase on 2009. The number of births has been increasing since 2001, when the lowest number of births during the past decade was reported (254,326).
'Of the women who gave birth in 2010, about 42% were having their first baby,' Professor Sullivan said.
In the four jurisdictions for which data on assisted reproductive technology (ART) were available, ART was used by about 4% of women who gave birth.
Onset of labour was spontaneous for 56% of women giving birth. Most women (68%) had a vaginal birth and, of these, 82% did not involve the use of instruments.
'Overall, 31.6% of women gave birth by caesarean section in 2010. This has not changed from 2009,' Professor Sullivan said.
About 6% of liveborn babies were of low birthweight (less than 2,500 grams) and this was almost twice as high among mothers who smoked during pregnancy.
Smoking while pregnant was reported by 14% of all mothers and by 37% of teenage mothers. About half of Indigenous mothers reported smoking during their pregnancy.
'Indigenous mothers were also generally younger than non-Indigenous mothers, with an average age of about 25 years,' Professor Sullivan said.
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, 13 December 2012
Further information: Professor Elizabeth Sullivan, AIHW NPESU, tel. (02) 9382 1064, mob. 0439 994 820
Full report: Australia's mothers and babies 2010