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 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 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 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 Data standards 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
Injury 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 by subject 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 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 National core maternity indicators 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
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISS MyHospitals NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NOPSAD 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 Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Conferences & events Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
A fall in the rate of women giving birth suggests the baby boom may have peaked, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, Australia’s mothers and babies 2008, shows there was a 0.6 percentage point fall in the overall rate of women aged 15 to 44 years giving birth, from 64.9 per 1,000 women in 2007 to 64.4 per 1,000 women in 2008. Of these, an estimated 3.2% of women who gave birth received assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment.
‘The proportion of older women giving birth has continued to rise over the past 18 years,’ said Associate Professor Elizabeth Sullivan, of the Institute’s National Perinatal Statistics Unit located at the University of New South Wales.
‘The proportion of mothers aged 35 years and over increased from about 11% in 1991 to about 23% in 2008. Mothers aged 40 years and over made up almost 4% of all women giving birth in 2008 compared to 1.4% in 1991.’
The average age of mothers in 2008 was 29.9, up from 27.9 in 1991, and the average age of first-time mothers increased from 25.8 years in 1991 to 28.2 years in 2008.
‘There are a number of factors that contribute to delayed childbearing, including social, educational and economic factors and increased access to assisted reproductive technology,’ Associate Professor Sullivan said.
Indigenous mothers were younger, with an average age of 25.1 years in 2008, compared with 30.1 years for non-Indigenous mothers. The average age of first-time Indigenous mothers was 21.0 years.
For a second year in a row, the rate of caesarean section did not increase, with 31% of women who gave birth doing so by caesarean section. A further 57% had a non-instrumental vaginal birth.
Indigenous mothers had a lower caesarean rate than non-Indigenous mothers (25% compared with 31%). Advancing maternal age was associated with higher rates of caesarean section.
About 11% of mothers had an instrumental (forceps or vacuum extraction) assisted vaginal birth. This rate has remained stable over the last decade.
Instrumental birth was more prevalent in major cities, and a larger proportion of women who had instrumental deliveries were first-time mothers.
The proportion of women who smoked while pregnant was 16%. Over half of Indigenous mothers reported smoking during pregnancy (51%), compared with 14% of non-Indigenous mothers.
Of babies born in 2008, 6.1% of live births were of low birthweight (less than 2,500 grams). This rate of low birthweight was the lowest in the decade 1999–2008.
Wednesday 24 November 2010
Further information: A/Prof Elizabeth Sullivan, tel. 02 9382 1014, mob. 0439 994 820
For media copies of the report: Publications Officer, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1032.
Australia’s mothers and babies 2008
Report summary Full report