HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW

Preterm births

Aboriginal, Major cities, 2016
11.3Aboriginal, Major cities, 2015
12.8Aboriginal, Major cities, 2014
12.7Aboriginal, Major cities, 2013
13.4Aboriginal, Major cities, 2012
12.1Aboriginal, Major cities, 2011
12.4Aboriginal, Major cities, 2010
10.7Aboriginal, Major cities, 2009
11.2Aboriginal, Major cities, 2008
13.1Aboriginal, Major cities, 2007
13.9Aboriginal, Major cities, 2006
12.6Aboriginal, Major cities, 2005
12.9Aboriginal, Major cities, 2004
11.4Aboriginal, Major cities, 2003
11.7Aboriginal, Major cities, 2002
13.7Aboriginal, Major cities, 2001
13.2Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2016
11.1Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2015
12.6Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2014
13.1Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2013
12.1Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2012
14Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2011
12.7Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2010
12.2Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2009
10.1Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2008
11.6Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2007
12Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2006
9.7Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2005
11.6Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2004
11.8Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2003
12.3Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2002
11.5Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2001
12Non-Aboriginal, Major cities, 2016
7.1Non-Aboriginal, Major cities, 2015
7.6Non-Aboriginal, Major cities, 2014
7.4Non-Aboriginal, Major cities, 2013
7.4Non-Aboriginal, Major cities, 2012
7.3Non-Aboriginal, Major cities, 2011
7.3Non-Aboriginal, Major cities, 2010
7.2Non-Aboriginal, Major cities, 2009
7.3Non-Aboriginal, Major cities, 2008
7.4Non-Aboriginal, Major cities, 2007
7.3Non-Aboriginal, Major cities, 2006
7.3Non-Aboriginal, Major cities, 2005
7Non-Aboriginal, Major cities, 2004
7.2Non-Aboriginal, Major cities, 2003
6.8Non-Aboriginal, Major cities, 2002
7Non-Aboriginal, Major cities, 2001
7.1Non-Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2016
7.2Non-Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2015
8.3Non-Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2014
7.6Non-Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2013
7.7Non-Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2012
7.6Non-Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2011
7.2Non-Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2010
7Non-Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2009
7Non-Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2008
6.8Non-Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2007
6.8Non-Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2006
7.2Non-Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2005
7.2Non-Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2004
7.1Non-Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2003
7Non-Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2002
6.6Non-Aboriginal, Rest of NSW, 2001
  • + Source

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

  • + Notes

    Births for which gestational age was less than 37 weeks were classified as preterm.

    Data include all births (stillbirths and live births) in NSW regardless of mother’s permanent place of residence.

    As Aboriginal mothers are under-reported on the Perinatal Data Collection and information on Aboriginal fathers is not reported, it is likely that the true numbers of Aboriginal babies are substantially higher than shown. The level of under-reporting varies between different geographical areas. Refer to the Related indicators tab for more information.

    Statistical Areas are grouped according to Australian Statistical Geographic Standard (ASGS) remoteness categories on the basis of Accessibility/Remoteness Index for Australia (ARIA version) score.

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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 2018 there were 95,552 births to 94,170 mothers in NSW, a decrease of 1.8% from 97,325 births in 2014.  The percentage of multiple (twin and triplet) pregnancies has remained fairly stable over recent years at about 1.4%. 

      Between 2014 and 2018:

      • The proportion of mothers who were teenagers continued to fall, from 2.7% to 1.9%.

      • The proportion of births to mothers over 35 years of age has remained stable.

      Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and babies

      Between 2014 and 2018:

      • The number of reported births to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander mothers increased from 3,808 to 4,270, representing 3.9% and 4.5% respectively of all babies born in NSW.

      • The percentage of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander mothers who were teenagers fell substantially from 15.8% to 11.5%.

    • 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 2013. Obstetrics version 7.2. Sydney: ACHS, 2013. Available at:">

Last Updated At: Tuesday, 6 November 2018