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Australians becoming parents later in life and having fewer children

More Australians are putting off having children until their 30s and having fewer when they do, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The shift comes as more young people delay moving out of home, finding full-time work and getting married or settling into long-term de facto relationships.
It also comes as cost of living pressures, the current rental crisis and interest rate rises are taking a toll on hip pockets, while a focus on career, longer-term travel plans and improved affordability and access to IVF could be influencing women having children later.
Adoptive parents from Minnesota in the US have captured the emotional moment they met their baby for the first time after a series of fertility issues. <br><br>
The couple had always wanted three children but struggled to have their third child, describing the previous pregnancies as “brutal”.
Sarah and David Olson took along their friend and photographer Kristen Prosser of <a href=
IN PICTURES: Adoptive parents share emotional photos of the moment they met their baby for the first time
According to the new data, almost 60 per cent of births in 2022 were to mothers aged 30 to 39 while less than 20 per cent of mothers fell in the same age range in 1975.
ABS head of demography Emily Walter said Australian parents were also having fewer children, with 1.63 births per mother in 2022, compared to the rate of 1.70 births per mother in 2021.
However, this rate was higher than the 1.59 births per woman recorded in 2020.
"Although total fertility remains low, the fertility rate for women in their late 30s and early 40s has significantly increased," Walter said.
"From 1991 to 2022, the fertility rate of mothers aged 35 to 39 years has almost doubled from 36.0 to 69.3 births per 1000 women.
"For mothers aged 40 to 44 years, it has nearly tripled from 5.5 to 15.8 births per 1000 women.
"In contrast, the fertility rate of teenage mothers has reached an all-time low of 6.8 births per 1000 women, from 22.1 births per 1000 women in 1991."
Walter said the rising fertility rates of women in their 30s and early 40s was consistent with women having their first and subsequent births later in life.
The fertility rate of teenage mothers aged 15 to 19 years was the lowest on record, with 6.8 babies per 1000 mother.
The Northern Territory had the highest total fertility rate with 1.73 babies per mother, followed by New South Wales and Queensland with 1.71 babies per mother.
The Australian Capital Territory had the lowest total fertility rate with 1.41 babies per mother.

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