Fertility levels and intentions in New South Wales

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


The purpose of this report is to collate evidence which can be used to inform future fertility assumptions used in the New South Wales (NSW) Population, Household and Dwelling Projections and to evaluate the assumptions used in the current projections. These projections play a vital role in informing planning and policy development across all NSW Government Agencies. Following a long period of decline, the annual Total Fertility Rate (TFR) for NSW recovered significantly from 1.77 births per woman in 2001 to reach 2.05 in 2008 before falling back to 1.93 in 2012. Women in NSW have been having children at later ages, and 30-34 has become the most usual age range for giving birth. These trends in annual fertility should be viewed in the context of changes to the cumulative numbers of children women have had over their lifetimes. Prior to 2007 the average numbers of children women had had over their lifetime decreased for women across the 25 to 50 age range. Since 2007 the trend towards smaller average numbers of children by age 40 appears to have halted, and, whilst the trend towards a smaller average number by age 30 has continued, the rate of decline has become progressively more gradual. The increases in birth rates between 2001 and 2008 were largely due to increased numbers of first and second births, and should therefore be seen as part of a “catch-up effect”: past decreases in fertility rates were exaggerated by the effects of fertility postponement, and after 2001 a replacement of previously postponed births helped to push the TFR back up.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSydney, NSW
PublisherNSW Department of Planning & Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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