Place of birth

Almost all births in Australia took place in hospitals (96%) in conventional labour wards. Of mothers who gave birth in hospital, 3 in 4 (75%) did so in a public hospital. A small proportion of mothers gave birth elsewhere, including birth centres (2.9%), at home (0.4%), or in other settings (such as before arrival at hospital) (0.7%).

The data visualisation below presents data on the place of birth of women who gave birth, by selected maternal characteristics, for 2020. Click the trend button to see how data has changed over an 11-year period (where available).

The figure shows a bar chart of the proportion of women who gave birth by place of birth and a range of topics for 2020 and a line graph of topic trends between 2010 and 2020. In 2020, 282,057 women, or 97%, gave birth in a hospital.

There was a trend toward shorter postnatal stays between 2010 and 2020: 26% of mothers were discharged less than 2 days after giving birth in 2020 (16% in 2010), and 11% of mothers stayed 5 or more days (18% in 2010).

Mothers were most likely to be discharged between 2 and 4 days after giving birth (65% in 2010 and 63% in 2020). Data are based on mothers who gave birth in hospitals and were discharged to home and excludes data from Western Australia.

For more information on place of birth see National Perinatal Data Collection annual update data tables 2.22 and 2.23.