Teenage pregnancies drop to record low rate

Peter Terlato 9 November 2016

Pregnant teenager

Just 2.8% of all births in 2015 in Australia were to teenage mothers.

Despite consistent fertility rates among Australian women in the last few years, teen pregnancies have diminished to their lowest levels on record, according to new research.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) birth figures for 2015 reveal Australia's fertility rate to be 1.81 babies per woman, similar to the ratio of 1.8 babies per woman in 2014.

However, births to mothers aged 19 years and under declined both in number (8,574) and as a proportion of all births (2.8%).

This current ratio is much lower than the 3.1% of births witnessed a year earlier in 2014.

Women aged 30-34 years recorded the highest rate of pregnancy among all age groups in 2015, followed by 25-29 year olds.

Comparing Australia's fertility rates to those of other countries, the teenage rate of 11.9 births per 1,000 women was similar to that of Canada (11.1) but lower than New Zealand (18.5), England and Wales (14.5).

As was the same in previous years, Victorian women registered the lowest total fertility rate of any Australian state (1.7), while Northern Territory mothers had the highest (2.1).

Fertility rates among Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander mothers was 2.3.

There were a total 305,377 births registered in Australia in 2015. Of these, 18,537 (6%) were born to at least one Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander parent.

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