Birth rates have fallen on the Northern Rivers
Birth rates have fallen on the Northern Rivers Cathy Adams

No boom on the Northern Rivers baby!

THE number of babies being born on the Northern Rivers has steadily decreased over the past five years, but it still well above the metropolitan average.

The most recent figures from the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show the average fertility rate across the Northern Rivers was 2.08, while the average across Australia was 1.80 babies per woman.

Ballina babies

The number of babies being born in Ballina has steadily decreased from an average fertility rate of 2.22 in 2010 to 1.92 in 2014.

This has resulted in almost 100 less births last year than in 2010, despite a population increase of almost 1000.

Byron babies

Byron Shire has also seen a decrease in newborns but not by as much.

Last year there were 315, down from 342 the year before and 357 in 2010. This was also despite an overall increase in population from 30,664 in 2010 to 32,119 in 2014.

Kyogle babies

Kyogle's baby boom has slumped by almost 40% in five years, from 127 babies born five years ago to only 77 born last year.

This means a drop in fertility rate from 3.09 in 2010 to 2.29 in 2014.

Lismore babies

Lismore is no exception to the trend, with a steady decrease in fertility rates from 2.22 in 2010 to 1.95 in 2014.

This has resulted in more than 100 fewer babies being born, despite a population increase of about 500.

Richmond Valley and Tenterfield babies

The fertility rate of women in the Richmond Valley has dropped from 2.74 in 2010 to 2.43 in 2014.

Tenterfield has gone from a fertility rate of 2.90 in 2010 to 2.13 in 2014, resulting in the number of births decreasing from 94 to 54.

Tweed babies

Tweed has also dropped from 2.25 five years ago to 2.01 late year, a difference of 114 babies.

AJ Lanyon from the ABS said 2014 saw the lowest recorded number of births to teenage mothers.

"The proportion of all births to mothers aged 19 and under was 3.1 per cent, following a steady decline from 10.4 per cent in 1975," she said.

Fertility rates for 30-34 year olds remained the highest, followed by 25-29 year olds.



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