Increasing the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies with a healthy birthweight to 91% by 2031, is one of the targets in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.
Note: For this target, only liveborn singleton babies are included.
In 2019, among the 17,406 liveborn singleton Indigenous babies:
- 9.2% were born with a low birthweight.
- 90% were born with a healthy birthweight.
- 1.2% were born with a high birthweight.
AIHW analysis indicates that prevention of smoking and poor nutrition of women, and improving access to antenatal care, are key to improving the birthweight of Indigenous babies. For more information see Key factors contributing to low birthweight of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies.
Further data disaggregation is based on analysis that includes multiple births. There were no substantial differences in birthweight outcomes between Indigenous babies (may have a non‑Indigenous mother) and babies born to Indigenous mothers (Figure MB 8a).
In 2020, among babies born with a healthy birthweight to Indigenous mothers:
- 19% (2,771) weighed between 2,500 and 2,999 grams.
- 33% (4,821) weighed between 3,000 and 3,499 grams.
- 26% (3,754) weighed between 3,500 and 3,999 grams.
- 8% (1,148) weighed between 4,000 and 4,499 grams (Figure MB 8b).
The rate of low birthweight babies was higher for Indigenous women who reported smoking during pregnancy than for those who had not smoked. In 2019, 15% of babies born to Indigenous women who reported smoking were of low birthweight, compared with 7.0% among Indigenous women who did not smoke (Figure MB 9).