Over 1 in 7 (15%) liveborn low birthweight babies weighed less than 1,500 grams and 6.3% of liveborn low birthweight babies weighed less than 1,000 grams.
Pre-term birth is closely linked with low birthweight – over two thirds (70%) of liveborn low birthweight babies were pre-term (gestational age before 37 completed weeks) and more than half (57%) of pre-term babies were of low birthweight.
The proportion of liveborn low birthweight babies was higher among babies born to mothers who lived in the most disadvantaged areas (7.8%) than babies born to mothers who lived in the least disadvantaged areas (5.4%).
Internationally, the proportion of low birthweight babies in Australia in 2018 or nearest year (6.7%), was slightly higher than the OECD average (6.6%).
For related information see National Core Maternity Indicator Small babies among births at or after 40 weeks of gestation.
For more information on birthweight see National Perinatal Data Collection annual update data table 3.9.
OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) (2019) Health at a glance 2019: OECD indicators, OECD, accessed 13 April 2021.