Australia's birth rate increases for first time in five years

December 16, 2014 11:55 pm 

CANBERRA, Dec. 16 — Australia's birth rate has risen for the first time in five years, according to research from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Figures released on Tuesday regarding Australia's latest birth rate statistics show an increase of 3.4 percent since 2011 and by 21.5 percent over the last 10 years.

They also reveal that the average age of mothers has risen to 30.1 years of age, up from 29.5 years a decade ago.

The AIHW's spokeswoman, Dr Georgina Chambers, elaborated on the data, saying the age of both first-time and existing mothers was gradually increasing. "About 42 percent of women who gave birth in 2012 had their first baby and the average age for first-time mothers was 28.4 years,"she said on Tuesday. "Over the last decade, the proportion of older women giving birth continued to rise, while the proportion of teenage births continued to fall. "Mothers aged 35 years and older made up more than 22.4 percent of all women giving birth in 2012, compared to 18.8 percent in 2003." "Conversely, teenage births declined from 4.6 percent in 2003 to 3.6 percent in 2012."

Overall, there were more 312,000 new births recorded in 2012, coming from around 307,000 mothers.

Only 4 percent of all recorded births throughout the year identified as Aboriginal or Torres Straight Islander, with the average age of mothers around five years younger than non- Indigenous mothers.

Tasmania had the lowest increase in birth rates throughout Australia's states, recording just a 4 percent rise, while both Canberra and Victory had the highest average age for women giving birth.

However, each was only 0.6 years over the average age of 30.1 years, while mothers in the Northern Territory were more than two years younger than the average age. (PNA/Xinhua)

FPV/EBP

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