Proportion of babies born with low birthweight

Definition: Proportion of liveborn singleton babies born with a birthweight of less than 2,500 grams.

Source: National Perinatal Data Collection; Table S1.4.6.

  • In 2015, 5.0% (14,910) of liveborn singleton babies were of low birthweight. This rate did not change markedly between 2007 and 2015.
  • The proportion of low birthweight babies increased with increasing levels of remoteness; in 2015, the proportion in Very remote areas (9.6%) was twice that of Major cities (4.8%).
  • The proportion of low birthweight babies was higher for mothers living in the lowest socioeconomic areas (6.3% in 2015) than for mothers living in the highest socioeconomic areas (3.9%).
  • The proportion of low birthweight singleton babies born to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers was 10% in 2015—2.2 times the proportion of babies born to non-Indigenous mothers (4.8%).

For more information, see Chapter 7.14 'Labour, birth and outcomes'.