Birth numbers in Australia hit an all-time record!

Simone - Myth Buster

Simone has a rich background in human geography, demography and urban planning – a background that was useful in her previous roles in the Commonwealth and State Governments, and now as part of the forecast team at .id. From the Queensland coast to the southern suburbs of Perth, Simone produces population and dwelling forecasts that help local governments make informed decisions about future service and planning needs. She is a regular contributor to .id’s blog and has spoken at several conferences on how our cities and regions are changing. She is a big advocate of evidence-based planning and how Census and other data can inform this. Outside of work Simone is a keen traveller and photographer – interests that tie in well with her professional life and help her to understand “place”.

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6 Responses

  1. Joe Lane says:

    “Except for a brief time when the fertility rate reached 2.00 (in 2009), it remained around 1.8 since 2006, and the rate recorded in 2016 was 1.79. This is well below the replacement level of 2.1, a trend that has been constant since the mid-1970s.”
    Even with with influx of young immigrants ? Half of our population rise is due to immigration, half to natural increase. So, without immigration, what would be our fertility rate ? Closer to 1.0 ?

    • Hi Joe, No – because the fertility rate is a relative measure – it’s like the propensity of women to have children. The denominator is the critical thing here. If there was no immigration the denominator would change, but the propensity of women to have children doesn’t automatically halve.

      Immigration has the effect of increasing the size of the cohort of woman in child bearing age groups, hence part of the reason why the number of births have increased.

  2. john petheram says:

    How does the NT compare with other states and regions?

  3. Simone says:

    Hi John, There were 3,927 births registered in the NT in 2016, which was a slight decline compared to the previous year. The interesting thing about the NT is that the fertility rate is higher than the national average, but it slipped below 2.0 for the first time since at least 2006. You would have to check the historic data to see if it’s ever been below 2.0 before.

    More information on births can be found at the ABS website –

  4. Geoff Brailey says:

    Thanks Simone, great insights! It’s fascinating to see the rising # of births in Australia, even despite low wages growth and housing affordability challenges. What factors do you think are most influential when it comes to birth rates in Australia? Do you think financial/housing affordability is at the top, or are there more psychological or social influential factors impacting the number of children being born in Australia?

  5. Barry says:

    What a country! Just to maintain population stability, the birth rate needs to be 2.1 babies per woman in the fertile quotient; Australia is well below that and has been for many decades. Meanwhile we abort 70,000 or more, babies per year. Quite apart from the morality of such behavior it is also stupid. To compensate we have one of the highest per capita immigration rates in the world. Recent events revolving around cultural incompatibility indicate that is not such a bright idea either. Australia needs strong emphasis on family unity, affordable real estate.and a revived decentralist policy. I doubt there is the will in government for such a policy. Meanwhile we blunder on.

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