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More babies were born in Australia last year than ever before, with 285,200 births registered. <

More babies were born in Australia last year than ever before, with 285,200 births registered.

The birth rate for 2007 broke the record set in 1971, when there were 276,400 births registered, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday.

Last year, Australia had a total fertility rate of 1.93 babies per woman, up from 1.81 in 2006, and the highest since 1981 when it was 1.94.

The Northern Territory and Tasmania were the most fertile, recording 2.27 and 2.19 babies per woman, respectively.

Women in the territory and the island state also had children at a younger age than those in the rest of the nation.

Women in the Northern Territory and Tasmania were most fertile between the ages of 25 and 29, compared with the rest of Australia where women aged 30-34 years were the most fertile group.

The average age of all mothers who gave birth in 2007 was 30.7 years, while the median age of all fathers was 33.1 years.

In 2007, two thirds of births were to parents in a registered marriage, compared with four in five 20 years ago.

Almost half of births last year were to first-time mums, while one third had their second child.


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