The Age newspaper reports today Victoria has the lowest birth rate in Australia and is well below the level needed to sustain the state’s population without migration.
It is part of a national trend where the fertility rate has declined in Australia since the global financial crisis, with Victoria last year replacing the Australian Capital Territory as the state or territory with the lowest rate, according to Bureau of Statistics data.
The ABS reports:
This fall in births – along with an increase in the number of women aged 15 to 49 years – contributed to Australia’s total fertility rate falling from 1.93 in 2012 to 1.88 in 2013.
But the trend among older mothers – those aged between 40 and 44 years – was reversed, and their fertility rate has continued to increase since its lowest point in the mid-1970s.
Over the past 30 years, fertility rates for these older mums have nearly tripled, and today’s results see the trend continuing.Across the states and territories, the Northern Territory again had the highest fertility rate at 2.12 babies per woman, while Victoria had the lowest at 1.76.
In Victoria, the fertility rate is 1.76 babies per woman – well below the replacement rate of 2.1 babies per woman, the level where the population sustains itself. But despite the birth rate falling to its lowest level since 2005, Victoria’s overall population is growing strongly due to migration.