HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW

Type of birth (vaginal, caesarean, forceps etc)

Normal vaginal, 2018
53.6Normal vaginal, 2017
54.5Normal vaginal, 2016
55.2Normal vaginal, 2015
56Normal vaginal, 2014
56.3Normal vaginal, 2013
56.8Normal vaginal, 2012
57.1Normal vaginal, 2011
56.9Normal vaginal, 2010
57.7Normal vaginal, 2009
58.2Normal vaginal, 2008
59.2Normal vaginal, 2007
59.9Normal vaginal, 2006
60.4Normal vaginal, 2005
61.2Normal vaginal, 2004
62.1Normal vaginal, 2003
62.8Normal vaginal, 2002
64.2Normal vaginal, 2001
65.4Forceps, 2018
4.7Forceps, 2017
4.7Forceps, 2016
4.7Forceps, 2015
4.7Forceps, 2014
4.7Forceps, 2013
4.6Forceps, 2012
4.3Forceps, 2011
4.1Forceps, 2010
4Forceps, 2009
3.6Forceps, 2008
3.7Forceps, 2007
3.5Forceps, 2006
3.2Forceps, 2005
3.1Forceps, 2004
3.3Forceps, 2003
3.4Forceps, 2002
3.6Forceps, 2001
4Vacuum extraction, 2018
7Vacuum extraction, 2017
6.7Vacuum extraction, 2016
6.8Vacuum extraction, 2015
6.4Vacuum extraction, 2014
6.4Vacuum extraction, 2013
6.8Vacuum extraction, 2012
7.1Vacuum extraction, 2011
7.3Vacuum extraction, 2010
7.4Vacuum extraction, 2009
7.6Vacuum extraction, 2008
7.2Vacuum extraction, 2007
7.2Vacuum extraction, 2006
6.9Vacuum extraction, 2005
7.1Vacuum extraction, 2004
7Vacuum extraction, 2003
6.8Vacuum extraction, 2002
6.9Vacuum extraction, 2001
6.5Vaginal breech, 2018
0.4Vaginal breech, 2017
0.4Vaginal breech, 2016
0.3Vaginal breech, 2015
0.4Vaginal breech, 2014
0.4Vaginal breech, 2013
0.4Vaginal breech, 2012
0.4Vaginal breech, 2011
0.3Vaginal breech, 2010
0.3Vaginal breech, 2009
0.4Vaginal breech, 2008
0.4Vaginal breech, 2007
0.4Vaginal breech, 2006
0.4Vaginal breech, 2005
0.4Vaginal breech, 2004
0.4Vaginal breech, 2003
0.4Vaginal breech, 2002
0.4Vaginal breech, 2001
0.5Elective caesarean section, 2018
22.2Elective caesarean section, 2017
21.3Elective caesarean section, 2016
20.2Elective caesarean section, 2015
19.8Elective caesarean section, 2014
19.6Elective caesarean section, 2013
18.7Elective caesarean section, 2012
18.6Elective caesarean section, 2011
18.4Elective caesarean section, 2010
17.7Elective caesarean section, 2009
17.5Elective caesarean section, 2008
17Elective caesarean section, 2007
16.8Elective caesarean section, 2006
17Elective caesarean section, 2005
16.2Elective caesarean section, 2004
15.3Elective caesarean section, 2003
15.1Elective caesarean section, 2002
13.9Elective caesarean section, 2001
13Emergency caesarean section, 2018
12.2Emergency caesarean section, 2017
12.5Emergency caesarean section, 2016
12.7Emergency caesarean section, 2015
12.6Emergency caesarean section, 2014
12.6Emergency caesarean section, 2013
12.8Emergency caesarean section, 2012
12.5Emergency caesarean section, 2011
12.9Emergency caesarean section, 2010
12.7Emergency caesarean section, 2009
12.7Emergency caesarean section, 2008
12.5Emergency caesarean section, 2007
12.2Emergency caesarean section, 2006
11.9Emergency caesarean section, 2005
11.9Emergency caesarean section, 2004
11.8Emergency caesarean section, 2003
11.5Emergency caesarean section, 2002
11Emergency caesarean section, 2001
  • + Source

    NSW Perinatal Data Collection (SAPHaRI). Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health.

  • + Notes

    Emergency caesarean section includes caesarean sections where the onset of labour was not stated. Data are based on mothers giving birth (that is multiple births are counted once).

    Data include all mothers who gave birth (stillbirth or live birth) in a NSW facility (or a home) regardless of place of permanent residence.

    The number of ‘not stated’ cases varied by geographic area and year. This may reduce the reliability of the estimates in the instances where ‘not stated’ cases are a large proportion.

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  • + Methods
  • + Codes
    • Codes: NSW Perinatal Data Collection

      The current data collection form for the NSW Perinatal Data Collection (PDC) commenced in 2016. Codes are described in the NSW Perinatal Data Collection Manual - 2016 Edition, which is available on the internet at

  • + Related Indicators
  • + Associated Information
    • Key points: Pregnancy and the newborn period

      Recent trends

      In 2019 there were 95,133 births to 93,758 mothers in NSW, a decrease of 1.3% from 96,391 births in 2015. The percentage of multiple (twin and triplet) pregnancies has remained fairly stable over recent years at about 1.4%.

      Between 2015 and 2019:

      • The proportion of mothers who were teenagers continued to fall, from 2.5% to 1.7%.

      • The proportion of births to mothers over 35 years of age has increased slightly from 23.4% to 25.9%.

      • The rate of low birth weight (less than 2,500 grams) has remained stable, ranging from 6.4% to 6.8%.

      • The perinatal mortality rate was 8.0 per 1,000 births in 2019, decreased from 8.2 per 1,000 births in 2015.

      Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and babies

      Between 2015 and 2019:

      • The number of reported births to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander mothers increased from 3,872 to 4,479, representing 4.0% and 4.7% respectively of all babies born in NSW.

      • The percentage of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander mothers who were teenagers fell substantially from 15.4% to 10.5%.

      • The perinatal mortality rate of 10.3 per 1,000 births in Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander mothers in 2019 is higher than the rate of 7.9 per 1,000 births experienced among babies born to non-Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander mothers.

      • The percentage of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander mothers who commenced antenatal care before 14 weeks increased from 55.6% to 75.3%.

    • Introduction: Pregnancy and the newborn period


      The health of Australian mothers and babies is generally good by world standards. Maternal deaths are rare, and perinatal mortality rates are low.

      The average woman in NSW can currently expect to give birth to 1.9 babies in her lifetime.

      NSW mothers are getting older with the mean maternal age at first birth around 29 years and at subsequent birth just over 30. The proportion of teenage mothers is declining.

      Burden of disease and social and economic disadvantage 

      Aboriginal mothers and babies, those from socioeconomically disadvantaged areas, and some overseas-born mothers and their babies continue to experience worse outcomes than other NSW mothers and babies.

    • Interventions: Pregnancy and the newborn period

      The NSW Ministry of Health maintains two population-based surveillance systems that collect information concerning pregnancy and birth: the NSW Perinatal Data Collection and the NSW Register of Congenital Conditions. They assist in monitoring the health of mothers and babies, and maternity service planning in NSW.

      The implementation of the NSW Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Health Strategy has improved access to culturally appropriate maternity services for Aboriginal mothers.

      The NSW Maternal and Perinatal Mortality Review Committee reviews each death of a mother or newborn baby to assess the cause and identify any possible avoidable factors. This information is used to improve services for mothers and babies.

    • For more information: Pregnancy and the newborn period

      Useful websites

      NSW Ministry of Health at, in particular see the annual New South Wales Mothers and Babies report, published by the Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence. The latest edition is available at

      Australian Bureau of Statistics at, in particular see Births (ABS Cat no 3301.0)

      Australian Institute of Health and Welfare at in general and in particular the AIHW's National Perinatal Statistics Unit and the annual publication: Australia’s mothers and babies.

      healthdirect at

      Population and Public Health Division. Improved reporting of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on population datasets in New South Wales using record linkage–a feasibility study. Sydney: NSW Ministry of Health, 2012. Available at:

      Australian Council on Healthcare Standards. Obstetrics Indicator User Manual. Sydney: ACHS. Available at:

Last Updated At: Tuesday, 25 August 2020