Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2016) Nursing and midwifery workforce 2015, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 09 February 2023.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2016). Nursing and midwifery workforce 2015. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/workforce/nursing-and-midwifery-workforce-2015
Nursing and midwifery workforce 2015. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 09 June 2016, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/workforce/nursing-and-midwifery-workforce-2015
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Nursing and midwifery workforce 2015 [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016 [cited 2023 Feb. 9]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/workforce/nursing-and-midwifery-workforce-2015
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2016, Nursing and midwifery workforce 2015, viewed 9 February 2023, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/workforce/nursing-and-midwifery-workforce-2015
Get citations as an Endnote file:
PDF | 1000Kb
Midwives need to be registered to be employed in Australia, however not all those who are registered are employed. There has been a large decrease in the number of registered midwives in Australia, falling from 52,273 in 2009 to 32,651 in 2015. This is related to the introduction of new ‘recency of practice’ standards that mean midwives must be actively working in midwifery to maintain their registration. To ensure this doesn’t confound the data, the data presented here focuses only on those registered midwives who reported working in midwifery (referred to as ‘employed midwives’). For more information about this and other changes in the workforce data see the Data quality statement.
In 2015, there were 28,211 registered midwives who reported working some hours in either midwifery or nursing in the week prior to completing the workforce survey, down slightly from 28,756 in 2014. Of these, 23,801 reported having worked hours in midwifery, about the same as in 2014. On average, employed midwives worked 21.9 hours per week in midwifery. This excluded hours that they may have worked in nursing. This equated to a full time equivalent (FTE) rate of 57.6 employed midwives per 100,000 people, down from 61.0 in 2014.
In 2015, almost all of employed midwives were female (98.6%) and 88.5% held a registered nurse registration. The average age of employed midwives was 47.9 years and 52.3% were aged 50 and over.
Of the 28,211 registered midwives employed in midwifery or nursing in 2015, 10,960 (38.8%) reported attending a birth as the primary midwife in the past 12 months. Of these:
In 2015, the overall supply of employed midwives varied across the states and territories, from 48.4 FTE per 100,000 population in New South Wales to a high of 113.2 in the Northern Territory.
The average age of midwives varied little between jurisdictions, from 47.2 years in Victoria to 48.8 years in South Australia.
Employed midwives working in midwifery in the Australian Capital Territory worked the most average weekly hours (23.0). South Australia reported working the least average weekly hours (20.5).
Source: AIHW NHWDS.
In 2015, the overall supply of employed midwives varied across remoteness areas, from 51.9 FTE per 100,000 population in Inner regional areas to a high of 74.4 in Remote areas.
In 2015 the average age of employed midwives who reported working in a remoteness area was greatest in Very remote areas (51.7 years) and lowest in Major cities (47.6 years). Very remote areas also had the greatest proportion of midwives aged 50 and over (68.4%). Employed midwives in Major cities reported working the most average weekly hours (22.8). Very remote areas reported working the least average weekly hours (18.0).
In 2015, 88.4% of employed midwives in Australia were working as clinicians (21,050). Of the non-clinical workforce, ‘administrator’ was the largest group (1,216 or 5.1%), followed by ‘teacher/educator’ (1,092 or 4.6%). Clinicians reported working the most average weekly hours in midwifery (22.3).
In 2015, the ‘principal area of main job’ of employed midwives with the highest FTE rate was postnatal care (15.2 FTE per 100,000 population).
In 2015, by far the work setting of employed midwives with the highest FTE rate was hospitals (excluding outpatient services) (43.1 FTE per 100,000 population).
Of employed midwives, 20,409 received their initial midwifery qualification in Australia (85.7%). England was the next most common country of initial qualification (1,714 or 7.2%).
In 2015, there were 230 midwives employed in Australia who identified as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. This represents 1.0% of all employed midwives who provided their Indigenous status.
We'd love to know any feedback that you have about the AIHW website, its contents or reports.
The browser you are using to browse this website is outdated and some features may not display properly or be accessible to you. Please use a more recent browser for the best user experience.