24 July 2023 – The following content changes have been made to Australia’s mothers and babies 2021:

  • Footnote (a) has been revised in Table 3.20 in the ‘Data Tables: National Perinatal Data Collection annual update 2021’, and Table 5.1 in the ‘Data Tables: National Perinatal Data Collection annual update data visualisations 2021’ now consistently has “First Nations” within the Sub-group disaggregation column.

Text changes are as follows :

On the Summary page:

  • There has been little change in the proportion of pre-term births ranging between 8.3% in 2011 and 8.2% in 2021 with a peak of 8.7% reached most recently in 2018, and low birthweight babies remained steady at 6.3% between 2011 and 2021.

On the Gestational age page:

  • The proportion of babies born between 20 and 36 weeks remained steady between 2011 (8.3%) and 2021 (8.2%) with a peak of 8.7% reached most recently in 2018, while the proportion born between 37 and 39 weeks increased (for example, babies born at 38 weeks increased from 19% in 2011 to 23% in 2021) and the proportion born from 40 weeks onwards decreased (for example, babies born at 40 weeks decreased from 25% in 2011 to 20% in 2021).

16 Aug 2022 – About page and Summary page text: the number of babies was reported incorrectly as 295,796. The text has been updated to: ”In 2020, there were 295,976 babies born to 291,712 mothers in Australia”.

22 July 2022 – Data tables containing preliminary data 2020 for Victoria (released 21 June 2022)& were superceded.

9 Nov 2021 – An update was performed to replace data for smoking status in the ‘Smoking during pregnancy’ chapter and in other chapters where smoking status is a disaggregation.

2 Jun 2020 – A number of formatting issues in the data visualisations have been updated.

5 Aug 2019 – The key fact box within the data visualisation has been updated to show the latest data (2017) for the following pages:

  • Smoking
  • Place of birth
  • Gestational age
  • Birthweight
  • Stillbirths and neonatal deaths

27 Nov 2019 – The Admission to a special care nursery or neonatal intensive care unit key fact in the data visualisation has been updated to read “1 in 5 babies” rather than “1 in 6 babies”.


This Australia’s mothers and babies web report was prepared by Joshua Alexander, Denae Cotter, Kyle Miller, Olivia Paul and Kathryn Sedgwick of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), with valuable input from Louise Catanzariti, Bernice Cropper, Deanna Eldridge and Fleur de Crespigny.

The Stillbirths and neonatal deaths and Maternal deaths web articles were prepared by Lauren McFarlane, Maddy Elkington, and Patrick Goodarzi  of the AIHW, with valuable input from Louise Catanzariti, Bernice Cropper, Deanna Eldridge and Michael Humphrey AM. The AIHW acknowledges the significant contributions of Jacqueline Rek to previous releases of these articles.

The Breastfeeding web article was prepared by Olivia Paul of the AIHW, with valuable input from Joshua Alexander, Denae Cotter, Fleur De Crespigny and Deanna Eldridge.

A large number of stakeholders provided valuable advice and input to the National Perinatal Data Collection, the National Perinatal Mortality Data Collection, the National Maternal Mortality Data Collection and to this report, including the National Perinatal Data Development Committee and the National Maternal and Perinatal Mortality Clinical Expert Group.

In particular, the following staff from the state and territory health departments who provided data and reviewed this report:

  • Tim Harrold, Martin Drummond and Hafiz Khusyairi, Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, New South Wales Ministry of Health and Patricia Bradd and Alison Goodfellow, Clinical Excellence Commission, NSW Government
  • Staff in the Consultative Councils Unit, Quality and Safety Analytics, Data Collections Unit and Victorian Agency for Health Information.
  • Trisha Johnston, Joanne Ellerington, Vesna Dunne and Ben Wilkinson, Statistical Services Branch, Department of Health, Queensland
  • Maureen Hutchinson, Emily Ruitenga, Alan Joyce and Sheila Klimczyk, Maternal and Child Health, Information and Performance Governance Unit, Department of Health, Western Australia
  • Katina D’Onise, Helen Thomas, Kylie Bryant, Kyle Wilkinson, Britt Catcheside, Stephen Corns, Rosie Meng and Suresh Joshi, Prevention and Population Health Directorate, Wellbeing SA
  • Peter Mansfield, Peggy Tsang and Cynthia Rogers, Health Information Unit, Department of Health, Tasmania
  • Elizabeth Chalker, Rosalind Sexton and Wayne Anderson, Epidemiology Section, ACT Health
  • Leanne O’Neil, Lin Li and Belinda Jennings, Population and Digital Health, NT Health, Northern Territory.

The AIHW also acknowledges the time, effort and expertise of all clinical staff in collecting and providing the data for the NPDC, the NPMDC and the NMMDC.

Parts of this report were funded by the Department of Health and Aged Care as a component of the National Maternity Data Development Project.