While rates of infant and young child deaths have fallen dramatically in recent years, Australia’s rate is still three times higher than that of the best-performing OECD countries. 

This is the first report from the National Health Performance Authority that presents data at the local level for infant and young child mortality, low birthweight, smoking during pregnancy and access to antenatal care. The report highlights areas where improvements are possible in child and maternal health.

Results are shown for 2009–2012 for more than 60 local areas across Australia, called Medicare Local catchments. 

The report finds:

  • The rate of low-birthweight babies is more than double in some areas of Australia compared to others
  • Women were also more than twice as likely to receive antenatal care in their first trimester of pregnancy in some local areas compared to others.