After increasing in recent years, fertility rates in Australia declined slightly in 2009, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
In 2009, Australia's total fertility rate was 1.90 babies per woman, a small decrease from 1.96 babies per woman in 2008 and 1.92 babies per woman in 2007.
Fertility rates for all states and territories decreased in 2009, except for Queensland.
Tasmania had the highest fertility rate, with 2.18 babies per woman, while the Australian Capital Territory had the lowest at 1.74.
Women in Tasmania were also having their children at younger ages than women in the rest of Australia; with fertility rates highest for women aged 25-29 years. For the rest of Australia, fertility rates were highest for women aged 30-34 years.
The median age of all mothers for births registered in 2009 was 30.6 years, while the median age of fathers was 33.0 years, both slightly younger than in recent years.
A total of 295,700 births were registered in Australia in 2009. Of these, 15,800 births were registered where at least one parent was an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian.
More details are available in Births, Australia, 2009 (cat. no. 3301.0). State and Territory information is also available. Regional figures are scheduled for release on 9 December 2010.
NB: The total fertility rate represents the average number of babies that a woman could expect to bear during her reproductive lifetime if current fertility rates continue.
Fertility rates decline in 2009