AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration AIHW corporate plan 2016–17 to 2019–20 Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Nous review Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public Interest Disclosure 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 disease 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 Health performance Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies Overweight & obesity Palliative care services Population health Primary health care 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 publications Online reports Subscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs AIHW annual reports Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular disease 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 Health performance Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health services Mothers & babies Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Primary health carePrisoner 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 AIHW data collections Customised data analysis request Data governance framework Data linking Data standards GovHack Privacy of data Accessing Australian Government health and welfare data
By subjectAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework Adoptions Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators (CHI) Child protection Data sources for monitoring health conditionsDeaths Diabetes Disability
Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General Record of Incidence of Mortality (GRIM) books Hospitals Indigenous Australians International collaboration Maternity Information Matrix (MIM) Medical indemnity Mental health Mortality Over Regions and Time (MORT) books National Aged Care Data Clearinghouse
National core maternity indicators (NCMI) National framework for protecting Australia’s children (NFPAC) National indicator catalogue National Youth Information Framework (NYIF) Perinatal data Primary Health Network (PHN) Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AIHW committeesAIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee
National & advisory committeesACFADD AHSAC AODTS NMDS WG Cancer CKDMAC CVDMAC HEACIGIHM JJ RIG MHISSC
NAGATSIHID NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDDNMDS NMHPSC NOPSAD
NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees
In other sections About the AIHW Data Publications Contact AIHW
Education worksheets Infographics What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Resources 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 Embargoed access to AIHW material Media contacts
You are here:
For the first time in five years, there has been an increase in the rate of births in Australia, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, Australia's mothers and babies 2012, shows that a total of 307,474 women gave birth to 312,153 babies in 2012, a 3.4% increase from 2011 and a 21.5% increase since 2003.
The overall birth rate of women aged 15 to 44 years was 65.0 per 1,000 women which is the highest rate in the last decade and similar to the birth rate of 64.9 per 1,000 women in 2007. An estimated 4% of women who gave birth received assisted reproductive technology in the 5 jurisdictions for which data on ART were available.
The average age of mothers in Australia steadily increased, from 29.5 years in 2003 to 30.1 years in 2012.
'About 42% of women who gave birth in 2012 had their first baby, and the average age for first time mothers was 28.4 years,' said Dr Georgina Chambers, of the AIHW National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit.
'Over the last decade the proportion of older women giving birth continued to rise, while the proportion of teenage births continued to fall. Mothers aged 35 years and older made up more than 22.4% of all women giving birth in 2012 compared to 18.8% in 2003. Conversely teenage births declined from 4.6% in 2003 to 3.6% in 2012.'
In 2012, 4% of women who gave birth identified as Indigenous. Indigenous mothers were younger than non-Indigenous mothers with an average age in 2012 of 25.2 years compared with 30.3. The average age of first time Indigenous mothers was 21.5 compared to 28.6 for non-Indigenous mothers.
Smoking during pregnancy was reported by 12.5% of all mothers in 2012 and in almost 35% of teenage mothers.
Overall, 6% of liveborn babies were of low birthweight (less than 2,500 grams) and this doubled (12%) among mothers who smoked during pregnancy.
The overall proportion of women giving birth by caesarean section in 2012 was 32.4% and similar to the proportion (32.3%) in 2011.
Caesarean section rates increased over the decade from 28.5% in 2003 to 32.4% in 2012.
'In 2012, caesarean sections rates ranged from 17.1% for teenage mothers to 49.9% for mothers aged 40 and over,' Dr Chambers said.
The perinatal death rate was 9.6 per 1,000 births, with 7.2 stillbirths per 1,000 births and 2.4 neonatal deaths (death of a liveborn infant within 28 days of birth) per 1,000 live births.
For the first time, an overview of perinatal data and information about the demographics of mothers are available in a dynamic and interactive portal on the AIHW website http://www.aihw.gov.au/perinatal-data/, where further releases are planned.
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, 16 December 2014
Further information: Dr Georgina Chambers, NPESU, mob. 0408 664 490
Full publication: Australia's mothers and babies 2012