Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Google+ Share by Email

Skip to content

Key resources

  • Bibliography
  • Health promotion
    Health promotion
  • Health practice
    Health practice
  • Programs
  • Conferences
  • Courses
  • Funding
  • Jobs
  • Organisations
  • Health Services MapHealth Services Map
Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places
Print this page Print

spacing1What do we know about Indigenous births?

In 2013, there were 18,368 births registered in Australia where one or both parents were Indigenous (six in every 100 births) [1]. Overall, Indigenous women had more children and had them at younger ages than non-Indigenous women.

Indigenous women had, on average, 2.3 births in their lifetime (compared with 1.9 births for all Australian women) [1]. Nearly three-quarters of Indigenous mothers were 30 years or younger when they had their babies, compared with less than one-half of non-Indigenous mothers (Derived from [1]). Around 18 in 100 Indigenous mothers were teenagers, compared with 3 in 100 for non-Indigenous mothers.

In 2012, babies born to Indigenous mothers weighed an average of 3,211 grams, 162 grams less than those born to non-Indigenous mothers [2]. Babies born to Indigenous mothers were almost twice as likely to be of low birthweight (less than 2,500 grams) than babies born to non-Indigenous mothers. Low birthweight can increase the risk of a child developing health problems.


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2014) Births, Australia, 2013: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births and fertility. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics
  2. Li Z, Zeki R, Hilder L, Sullivan EA (2013) Australia's mothers and babies 2011. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Last updated: 17 June 2015
Return to top