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Report On Australia's Declining Birth Rates.

1153 words - 5 pages

Report on Australian decreasing birth rate.What is the issue?The decrease of fertility rates as a result of changing attitudes in society. With low birthrates and an ageing community, our country is faced with a population crisis.Where is the focus of the issue, in spatial dimensions? Why is an issue in this area? Or is this a global issue?This decline in babies being born is effecting the population worldwide. Italy and Spain have the lowest fertility rates of 1.2 babies per woman. However the numbers in Australia are close behind with our 1999 fertility rate of only 1.75 babies per woman making us one of the lowest in the world and well below average. These low figures in Australia have been attributed to the changing 'Australian Woman'. This woman often chooses to delay the role of mothering until she is over 35, if ever, due to her place in the labor force. Also the role of the contraceptive pill, abortion and single parent homes have had a significant impact on the fertility rates in Australia.How has this issue changed/developed over time?For the first ten years of the 20th century the Australian fertility rate was between 3.7 and 4.0 babies per woman. When this is compared to the current fertility rate of 1.75 it is evident that the increase within a 100-year span is drastic. The first major drop in fertility rates occurred between 1907 and 1934, when by the end of the Great Depression the number of babies per woman had dropped to 2.1. This number later increased in the late 1930's as woman who had opted not to bear children during the depression decided the time was right. Fertility rose during World War Two and peaked in 1961 when the fertility rate reached 3.5 babies per woman.After this climax the Australian fertility rate dropped rapidly to 2.9 in 1966. This change can be attributed to the change in social attitudes that occurred at this time. In particular a change in people's perception of desired family size, which was greatly assisted by the introduction of the contraceptive pill. Through out the 1970's the fertility rate dropped again and fell below replacement levels in 1976, where it has remained ever since. This fall was more significant than the drop in the early 60s and has been linked to the participation of woman in education and the labor force, further changes in attitudes to family size, lifestyle choices and the greater access to abortion.'A preference to cats, a distaste for the modern child's bad manners and an abhorren of nappy changing ' were all given as reasons for disliking children. Australian woman are continuing to delay childbearing. The average age of pregnancy has increased from 26.5 years in 1979 to 28.2 years in 1989, then to 29.7 years in 1999. The number of births to woman over 40 has increased from 0.8% in 1979 to 2.5% in 1999. One in ten mothers are now over 35 and the number of first time mothers over 35 has doubled since 1991. This rapid increase in the age of mothers has meant a large increase in...

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