Birthweight (PI01 and PI02)

Indicators related to birthweight in the national Key Performance Indicators (nKPI) collection are:

  • the proportion of Indigenous babies born within the previous 12 months whose birthweight was recorded
  • the proportion of Indigenous babies born within the previous 12 months whose birthweight results was low, normal or high.

Why is birthweight important

Birthweight is a key indicator of a baby’s immediate health and a determinant of their future health. Low birthweight babies (less than 2,500 grams), for example, are more likely to die in infancy or to be at increased risk of illness in infancy. Measuring birthweight allows infants to be given early and suitable intervention, which can mitigate adverse outcomes.

Indigenous mothers are less likely to have a baby of normal birthweight than non-Indigenous mothers (AIHW 2020). There has been little change in this in recent years.

The targets in the refreshed National Agreement on Closing the Gap include several aimed at children, including a target to increase the proportion of Indigenous babies with a healthy birthweight to 91% by 2031.

Birthweight recorded (PI01)

This indicator is the proportion of Indigenous babies born within the previous 12 months whose birthweight was recorded.

At June 2020, 78% of Indigenous babies born in the previous 12 months had their birthweight recorded.

Birthweight recorded, by reporting period

This Tableau visualisation shows the percentage of Indigenous babies born in the last year whose birthweight was recorded at the primary health care organisation by reporting period (June 2017, December 2017, June 2018, December 2018, June 2019, December 2019, June 2020).

Data supporting this visualisation are available in Excel supplementary data tables at Data.

Recording of birthweight was highest in:

  • South Australia and Victoria/Tasmania (combined) (both 90%)
  • Major cities (88%)
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) (79%).

It was lowest in:

  • the Northern Territory (58%)
  • Very remote areas (64%)
  • organisations other than Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (non-ACCHOs) (76%).

Birthweight recorded, by either state/territory, remoteness or organisation type, reporting period

This Tableau visualisation shows the percentage of Indigenous babies born in the last year whose birthweight was recorded at the primary health care organisation for either:

  • state/territory (NSW/ACT, Vic, Qld, WA, SA, Tas, NT, Australia)
  • remoteness area (Major cities, Inner regional, Outer regional, Remote, Very remote, Australia)
  • organisation type (ACCHO, non-ACCHO, Total).

Reporting periods of either June 2017, December 2017, June 2018, December 2018, June 2019, December 2019, or June 2020 can be selected.

Data supporting this visualisation are available in Excel supplementary data tables at Data.

Birthweight result (PI02)

This indicator is the proportion of Indigenous babies born within the previous 12 months whose birthweight result was low, normal or high.

At June 2020, 87% of Indigenous babies born in the previous year had a normal birthweight.

Birthweight result, by reporting period

This Tableau visualisation shows the percentage of Indigenous babies born in the last year whose birthweight was recorded at the primary health care organisation by birthweight result (low, normal, high) and reporting period (June 2017, December 2017, June 2018, December 2018, June 2019, December 2019, June 2020).

Data supporting this visualisation are available in Excel supplementary data tables at Data.

Having a normal birthweight was highest in:

  • South Australia and Queensland (both 88%)
  • Major cities (90%)
  • organisations other than Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (non-ACCHOs) (89%).

It was lowest in:

  • the Northern Territory (84%)
  • Remote areas (82%)
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) (86%).

Birthweight result, by either state/territory, remoteness or organisation type, reporting period

This Tableau visualisation shows the percentage of Indigenous babies born in the last year whose birthweight was recorded at the primary health care organisation by birthweight result (select for low, normal, or high) for either:

  • state/territory (NSW/ACT, Vic, Qld, WA, SA, Tas, NT, Australia)
  • remoteness area (Major cities, Inner regional, Outer regional, Remote, Very remote, Australia)
  • organisation type (ACCHO, non-ACCHO, Total).

Reporting periods of either June 2017, December 2017, June 2018, December 2018, June 2019, December 2019, or June 2020 can be selected.

Data supporting this visualisation are available in Excel supplementary data tables at Data.

Reference

AIHW 2020. Australia’s mothers and babies—data visualisations. Cat. no. PER 101. Canberra: AIHW.