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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin
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spacing1What do we know about Indigenous births?

What is known about Indigenous births?

In 2012, there were 18,295 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 did non-Indigenous women.

Indigenous women had, on average, 2.7 births in their lifetime (compared with 1.9 births for all Australian women) [1]. Around 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 19 in 100 Indigenous mothers were teenagers, compared with 3 in 100 for non-Indigenous mothers.

In 2011, babies born to Indigenous mothers weighed an average of 3,187 grams, almost 200 grams less than those born to non-Indigenous mothers [2]. Babies born to Indigenous mothers were more than twice as likely to be of low birthweight (less than 2,500 grams) than those born to non-Indigenous mothers. Low birthweight can increase the risk of a child developing health problems.


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2013) Births, Australia, 2012. 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: 25 September 2014
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