Experts say women in Australia need to have 2.1 babies each to keep our population growing.
Experts say women in Australia need to have 2.1 babies each to keep our population growing. RealCreation/iStock

Oh baby! How Bundaberg women are growing our population

BUNDABERG women are doing their bit to keep Australia's population booming.

While our birthrate has fallen, local mothers are having more babies than their capital city counterparts.

Analysis of national fertility data reveals 13,471 infants were born here in Bundaberg and Fraser Coast in five years to the end of 2017.

Bundaberg's birthrate equates to 2.1 children per Bundaberg mother compared to 1.8 babies for each woman in Brisbane.

 

The state and national averages are 1.9.

Demographers say to ensure there is a person to replace the mother and father and to grow Australia's population, each couple should have 2.1 children.

Bundaberg is on par with this figure.

Australian Population Association president Ann Evans said migrant numbers, age and the education, employment, housing and income status of residents impacted birthrates.

"The fertility rate is higher in regional areas because the type of people who live in those areas are more disposed to have kids," the Australian National University School of Demography associate professor said.

"The age structure can have a major impact - for example if there are lots of older people the birthrate will be low.

"Capital cities also have higher levels of migrants who often have less children than those born in Australia.

"Women who are well educated may also have less children and most of these people will be in cities where the jobs are."

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service Family and Community Services nursing director Carol McMullen said the organisation was expanding midwifery services to keep up with demand. This includes rolling out a program where a mother deals with one midwife throughout her pregnancy, labour and birth.

A Queensland Health spokesperson said women should be supported in their choices to have or not have children. - NewsRegional

 

Demographers say to ensure there is a person to replace mother and father and to grow Australia's population, each couple should have 2.1 children.
Demographers say to ensure there is a person to replace mother and father and to grow Australia's population, each couple should have 2.1 children. Halfpoint/iStock

HOW WE COMPARE

REGION, BIRTHS 2013-15, BIRTHRATE

Bundaberg, 3109, 2.1

Cairns, 6871, 2.1

Fraser Coast, 3130, 2.2

Gladstone, 3067, 2.3

Gold Coast, 20,529, 1.8

Gympie, 1526, 2.3

Ipswich, 9788, 2.3,

Mackay, 5107, 2.1

Rockhampton, 3540, 2.2

Southern Downs, 1249, 2.4

Sunshine Coast, 8823, 1.9

Toowoomba, 6356, 2.2

Townsville, 8562, 2.0

Queensland, 188,165, 1.9

Brisbane, 92,566, 1.8

AUSTRALIA, 913,139, 1.9

Source: PHIDU Social Health Atlas of Australia