In Lifestyle

Australian Bureau Of Statistics

Happy Mother’s Day From The ABS On Sunday 13 May 2018

Victor P Taffa

Thank you to all the mums and mother figures. May your weekend be full of love, laughter and breakfasts in bed.

If you are one of the more than 6 Million mums in Australia or countless more mother figures, Happy Mother’s Day. In celebration, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has pulled some numbers about mums in Australia.

Median age of first-time mums in 2016 was 30.5, up from 29 in 2011 with women aged 30-34 having the highest fertility rate of 123 babies per 1,000 women. The teenage fertility rate continued to decline.

Total fertility rate in 2016 was 1.789 babies per woman, down from 1.875 in 2006 and 1.805 in 1996. Since 1976, Australia’s fertility rate has been below the replacement level of 2.1.

In 2016, mums made up at least 77 % of Australian women aged 15 years and over, and at least 20 % of women aged 20-29 were mums. At least 10,300 or 0.2 % of all women who had given birth were in same-sex relationships.

On average, partnered mums rated life satisfaction at 7.8 out of 10 higher than 6.9 for single mums, but lower than 8 out of 10 for women with no children.

76 % of single mums felt their health was good, very good or excellent, compared with 90 % of partnered mums.

Our General Social Survey data (2014) reveals 58 % of partnered mums and 55 % of single mums had contact with other family or friends every day. A further 39 % of partnered mums and 41 % of single mums had contact with family or friends at least once a week.

Some 15 % of all mums have experienced homelessness. However, this issue is more likely to affect single mothers, with almost a third (32 %) having experienced homelessness at some point, compared with 10 % of mothers in couple families.

Good news is that most mums (96 % of partnered mothers and 93 % of single mothers) felt they would be able to get support in times of crisis.

According to the 2016 Census, full-time working mothers were most commonly employed in primary or secondary education, hospitals, and aged care. The most common occupation for mothers working full-time was as a general clerk performing administrative duties. For those working part-time, most were employed as sales assistants. This is unchanged from 2011.

Since the 1996 Census, the proportion of mothers who are active in the workforce has increased from 46.1 % to 53.4 %. Mothers are increasingly likely to be employers or self-employed, with this percentage rising from 3.9 % to 6.7 % in the last 20 years.

As for housework, half of mums aged between 20 and 49 (inclusive) do 15 or more hours of unpaid domestic work a week, compared to 9 % of women with no children. Both figures had fallen 57 % and 11 % respectively from the 2006 numbers.

Number of mothers who study has grown by 9.6 % since 2011. In 2016, roughly 95,100 or 1.6 % of mothers were studying full-time at technical, tertiary or other institutions.

Proportion of mothers with post-school qualifications has greatly increased since 1996, from 23.2 % to 51.5 %. Over the same period, qualifications for mothers in nursing and hairdressing have become less common (13.2 % to 9.4 % and 4.4 % to 3.1 % respectively) while accounting (2.8 % to 4.5 %) and business management have become more popular (0.6 % to 2.6 %).

Then there are the 114,800 mums who work, study and care for their children under the age of 15 at the same time.

A partnered mother is defined as a woman who shared a household with a partner in a couple relationship and one or more dependent children aged under 15.


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