Australia registered 309,996 births in 2021, an increase of more than 15,600 on registered births in 2020 and lifting the total fertility rate (TFR) to 1.70 babies per woman following a record low in 2020 (1.59).
According to the latest Births data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today, women aged 30–34 years continued to have the highest fertility rate, followed by women aged 25–29 years.
Emily Walter, ABS Demography Director said: “From 1991 to 2021, the fertility rate of mothers aged 35–39 years doubled, and for mothers aged 40–44 years, it has nearly tripled. In contrast, births to teenage mothers have reached an all-time low, with 5,102 babies born to teenage mothers in 2021. Both of these factors contribute to the continuing rise in median age of mothers (now 31.7 years).”
The total fertility rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers was 2.3 babies per woman. In contrast to the total population, the fertility rate was highest among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers aged in their 20’s.
The Northern Territory recorded the highest fertility rate, with 1.82 babies born per woman in 2021.
Queensland closely followed with 1.79 babies per woman, while the Australian Capital Territory recorded the lowest, at 1.45 babies per woman.
The Births Australia publication was released today, and it shows that the total fertility rate was 1.70 babies per woman in 2021. This is higher than the record low fertility rate we saw in 2020 of 1.59 babies per woman but is still lower than the recent peak we saw in 2008 of 2.02 babies per woman.
Well, over the last 30 years, we’ve seen the fertility rate of women in old age groups rise. For example, the fertility rate of mothers aged 35 to 39 has doubled over that period. And for mothers aged 40 to 44, the rate has nearly tripled. And what this means is that the median age of mothers has risen as well. In 2021, the median age was 31.7 years.
We’ve also seen a corresponding decrease in the fertility rate of teenage mothers. So, mothers aged 15 to 19 years and in 2021, the data showed a new low of just 7.1 babies per thousand mothers in that age group. Since the turn of the century, women aged 30 to 34 years have had the highest fertility rate. And in 2021, this was 120.6 babies per 1000 women. And this was followed by women in the age group of 25 to 29 years and in 2021 the figure was 86.7 babies per thousand women.
The Northern Territory continues to have the highest fertility rate at 1.82 babies per woman in 2021. This was followed by Queensland at 1.79 babies per woman and the Australian Capital Territory had the lowest fertility rate at 1.45 babies per woman.
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